Barbara Hardy Institute Seminar: Towards Net-Zero Energy Buildings Living Laboratory and Retrofitting the Existing Australian Housing Stock

Barbara Hardy Institute members and associates were provided with the opportunity to hear from Professor Paul Cooper and Mr Michael Tibbs of the University of Woollongong's Sustainable Building Research Centre (SBRC) about their research into the development of net-zero energy buildings and energy efficiency retrofitting of existing residential building stock.

Prof Paul Cooper gave an overview the design and performance of the two net-zero buildings in the SBRC Living Laboratory program, i.e. the 6-Star Green Star SBRC Building, which is also targeted to be the first Living Building Challenge accredited building in Australia, and the Team UOW  Illawarra Flame Solar Decathlon House. Team UOW won the Solar Decathlon China 2013 competition with the ‘Illawarra Flame’ achieving a world-record overall score for all Solar Decathlon competitions, which still stands. Both buildings are now located at the SBRC precinct and function as unique test-beds for research on a wide range of technologies and systems - from automated window control systems through to Photovoltaic-Thermal (PVT) and Phase Change Material renewable energy systems with Hybrid Model Predictive Control (HMPC).
Paul and Michael described their research and demonstration work on retrofitting of existing residential building stock, including a description of the Energy+Illawarra $2.3M Low Income Energy Efficiency Program and initial results therefrom, where ~183 homes of older, low-income aged care and community residents have been retrofitted and monitored.

To access the recording of this event, please click HERE.

Professor Paul Cooper is the Director of the University of Woollongong (UOW) Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC).  Paul has been involved in research on sustainable buildings, renewable energy systems, energy efficiency and fluid mechanics over the past 35 years. Paul was the Head of the School of Mechanical, Materials and Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Wollongong prior to taking up his present appointment as the Founding Director of the SBRC.
Paul was also the Faculty Advisor and the lead academic on the winning Team UOW Solar Decathlon China 2013 campaign. This project culminated in Team UOW winning the competition with the highest number of points scored by any team in the history of all the Solar Decathlon competitions around the world.
Mr Michael Tibbs is a Research Fellow at the SBRC with a background in Mechanical Engineering and Renewable Energy systems, and has been the project manager of the Energy+Illawarra retrofit and monitoring program.