Low Carbon Living in the Lochiel Park Community

Lochiel Park residents

The University of South Australia’s Research Node for Low Carbon Living engaged over 60 residents from Australia’s model green village, Lochiel Park, in a session held in their residential estate to share research outcomes and recognise their valuable contribution.

Node Leader Professor Wasim Saman’s expressed his heartfelt thanks to the residents, “We have been here since the inception of Lochiel Park – from which time you have not only welcomed us into your homes, but also have chosen to be deeply engaged with our low carbon living research.” Andrew Bishop, of Renewal SA, echoed Professor Saman’s sentiments and was proud to be part of the community after all these years.

Four key UniSA researchers, including  Prof. Wasim Saman and Node Manager Dr Stephen Berry, alongside A/Prof. Peter Pudney and Dr David Whaley, presented research findings to the engaged crowd demonstrating, among other findings, that their homes use only a third of the energy used by other comparable suburban Adelaide houses.

“It was reassuring,” local resident Roger Irvine said. “We’d hoped that our houses were performing better than the average Adelaide home and to have our hopes confirmed is fantastic!”

Results of the multidisciplinary research included: the value proposition of low carbon living (just under $25k, plus the intrinsic value of feeling good for contributing to a better planet by selecting sustainable housing options); understanding whether near zero energy houses stay that way (on average, yes, with Lochiel Park housing maintaining their improved levels of energy performance); the effect household energy systems and individual behaviour have upon operating energy use (few Lochiel Park households are yet to consistently achieve net zero energy standard); and the benefits of smart technologies such as in-home energy feedback displays in low carbon living (the monitors have enabled residents to understand their energy-use behaviour and make changes to reduce their net energy use, as well as being a useful fault identification tool resulting in corrective action to be undertaken early).

The presentations highlighted the continuing beneficial relationship that the University has with the Lochiel Park residents as minute-by-minute data monitoring enables provision of real-time advice including cost-benefit analyses of whether to purchase battery storage or increase the volume of photovoltaics.

Along with the South Australian government’s land development agency Renewal SA, the Friends of Lochiel Park Association co-hosted the event, and President Willie Smyth was delighted with the results, “It makes me further appreciate living in Lochiel Park. We have a wonderful life here and it’s great to have everyone here know how well we’re doing”.

Fellow resident Jillian Whittaker enjoyed the sharing of the results of the community, with the community, “It was a very informative evening and certainly made me want to fill in some gaps in my knowledge. It was also a great opportunity to meet more neighbours”.

 Lochiel Park is a ‘living laboratory’ located in suburban Adelaide, showcasing environmentally sustainable technologies and practices, with the University of South Australia involved in shaping the environmental targets, monitoring performance, and undertaking an extensive research program.

To learn more about key research findings at Australia’s model green village, Lochiel Park, click here.

Areas of study and research

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