Adelaide Living Laboratory

What is the Adelaide Living Laboratory?

The Adelaide Living Laboratory venture is an action based research project, funded by the CRC for Low Carbon Living, drawing evidence from three key Adelaide development sites at Tonsley, Lochiel Park and Bowden.  Each of these sites has been established to meet specific government policy objectives, is physically created by the local building and construction industry, and incorporates data collection and analysis by the University of South Australia.

The Adelaide Living Laboratory project utilises the expertise and skills of community, industry and university participants to undertake site-specific research to build a stronger evidence base supporting government policy and planning, and industry delivery.  The unique program of research is designed to help build a better understanding of low carbon living.

What is a living laboratory?

An urban living laboratory is typically a location of set of locations that have been created with the following principles:

  • Collaboration: the precinct is co-design by multiple collaborators.  This is typically a collaboration of government, industry, academia, and end users.
  • Exploration: the precinct is seeking to address a set of issues.  Typically the issues may be environmental, social or economic challenges.
  • Experimentation: the precinct includes the testing of new technologies, systems, services or behaviours in live scenarios within communities of users.
  • Evaluation: the project explicitly seeks to assess new technologies, systems, services or behaviours with the purpose of providing detailed feedback to industry, government and end‑users.
  • Communication: the project is designed to communicate the new knowledge to industry, government and the wider community.

Research Tasks

The Adelaide Living Laboratory seeks to engage stakeholders with a view to provide pathways for low carbon living via the following research tasks:

Task 1: Co-Creation Toolkit

Co-creation is an emerging methodology that aims to connect researchers, industry, end users, and other stakeholders across all stages of a development process to shift from consultation to collaboration. To date, this methodology has been applied in information communication technology product development and health care service delivery with exceptional results. This project, as a part of the Adelaide Living Laboratory, is seeking to test whether the tools and techniques of co-creation can generate an environment in which the design and delivery of urban scale projects can take place in a collaborative rather than consultative way. This project will focus on evaluating the application of various tools and techniques to low-carbon urban development, and on analysing cross-disciplinary interactions and the non-monetary value exchanges that take place as a part of the co-creative process. This research aims to demonstrate that trans-disciplinary collaboration and end-user involvement in urban development can lead to better results for all involved.

Adelaide Living Laboratory
Research Student: Aaron Davis
Project Title: Task 1: Co-Creation Toolkit
School: School of Art, Architecture and Design
Supervisors: Dr Jane Andrew, Dr Robert Crocker
Project Partner: Renewal SA

Task 2: Precinct Tool Case Studies

Adelaide Living Laboratory
Postdoctoral Fellow: Dr Manj Agrawal
Project Title: Task 2: Precinct Tool Case Studies
School: School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences
Supervisors: Mr John Gelder
Project Partner: Renewal SA

Task 3: Electricity Demand Management

Adelaide Living Laboratory
Postdoctoral Fellow: Associate Professor Peter Pudney
Project Title: Task 3: Electricity Demand Management
School: School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences
Supervisors: Professor Wasim Saman
Project Partner: Renewal SA

Task 4: Value Propositioning of Low Carbon Living

Brownfields regeneration to create transit oriented developments is seen as a key mechanism to move to a low carbon built environment, but little is understood about the value of such developments to residents, the building sector or wider society. The creation of low carbon buildings, in a setting of mixed residential, retail and commercial usage, with high frequency public transit opportunities is expected to greatly reduce the carbon impact profile of the local community. Yet, the literature also highlights many health and productivity benefits associated with thermally comfortable buildings, active transport opportunities and the social impact of changes to work/life dynamics. These co-benefits are likely to play an important part in understanding the full value of low carbon transit oriented developments to all stakeholders. This research project is designed to increase our understanding of the value associated creating the physical and social infrastructure required to deliver vibrant, socially inclusive, low carbon communities; as well as community scale energy, water, waste management, and transport systems that extend benefits beyond individual building boundaries. The output goals include the determination of the value proposition from various perspectives and scales including households, urban developers, and the wider community.

Adelaide Living Laboratory
Research Student: Catherine Kain
Project Title: Task 4: Value Propositoning of Low Carbon Living
School: School of Natural and Built Environments
Supervisors: Dr Kathryn Davidson (University of Melbourne), Dr Stephen Berry
Project Partner: Renewal SA

Areas of study and research

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