Low Carbon Living
The Barbara Hardy Institute engages with the community to combat escalating energy costs and the increased impact of climate change.We understand that people have a strong and growing desire to actively contribute to a sustainable future and we strive to assist the community achieve those goals, starting in their own homes.
The concepts of net zero energy, zero emission homes and low energy buildings have been a key goal for those involved in the sustainable building industry. With our focused research, the Barbara Hardy Institute is contributing to and monitoring a number of zero/low energy developments. Our research involves investigating the feasibility of using smart technologies, energy efficient design features and applicants and local energy generation in achieving the zero/low energy outcome. Both energy modelling and analysis of real data is employed.
Low Carbon Living at Lochiel Park
Australia's model green village, the environmentally sustainable residential estate at Lochiel Park, has been a showcase of environmentally sustainable technologies and practices. Our researchers have been part of it since the estate's inception, involved in shaping the environmental targets, monitoring performance, and undertaking an extensive research program.
This multidisciplinary living laboratory located 14km northeast of the Adelaide CBD, has helped create a detailed understanding of low carbon homes and their impact, informing sustainable housing decisions throughout the world.
Our findings have been published through a vast number of research papers. A selection of key Lochiel Park research learnings can be found here.
Zero energy housing
Through the implementation of existing technology and effective building design, a zero energy house can be readily achieved in Australia. Research teams in the institute conduct research for housing developments to work toward this goal by applying a holistic approach to total household energy demand. For example for both the Mawson Lakes and more recently the Lochiel Park residential developments in Adelaide, researchers developed the technical design guidelines adopted by Delfin. Furthermore the institute is validating these guidelines against actual usage via a comprehensive data collection and monitoring regime by household. For more information refer to iGrid
In addition to practical research and strong monitoring capability, the institute is also a regular source of advice to government and industry on ways to reduce energy use in domestic housing.
Advanced building systems for low energy buildings
A team of researchers conduct research into developing improved building components such as roofs, walls and ducting, which can significantly reduce the energy needed to heat and cool buildings. Through a strong experimental focus, researchers have developed in house test facilities capable of identifying the thermal characteristics of existing building elements. From these innovative solutions can be achieved by improving the configuration of building systems as well as using new technologies such as aerogel insulation.
Adelaide Living Laboratory
Watch Dr David Whaley’s presentation of the latest research findings of detailed energy demand data from a near zero energy housing development in Adelaide, called Adelaide Living Laboratory (ALL). Dr Whaley is an engineer and Research Associate at the University of South Australia who specialises in sustainable housing, energy monitoring, renewable energy systems design and integration.
Emerging Low Energy Air Conditioning Technologies
Jonathan Woolley from the Western Cooling Efficiency Center, University of California Davis, was here to give a talk. Download his presentation on Emerging Low Energy Air Conditioning Technologies (Powerpoint, 22.0 MB)
Key projects include:
Adapting to heatwaves
A framework of adaptation of Australian households to heat waves (NCCARF funded).
Forecasting energy use
Forecasting and characterising grid connected solar energy and developing synergies with wind technology (ASI funded).
Sustainable in-fill development
Using low-carbon CLT prefabrication: Adaptation for the Australian context (Barbara Hardy Institute Icon Project).
Environmental benefits of renewable energy
Finding the best mix of renewables, demand management and storage (Barbara Hardy Institute Icon Project).