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Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living

What we did and why

Commencing in 2012, the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Low Carbon Living was a national research hub established to facilitate a globally competitive low carbon built environment sector. The CRC leveraged expertise from six universities and the CSIRO and all its participants and built further expertise in sustainable urban design, innovation, energy efficiency and community engagement for the built environment.

We contributed to the CRC as a partner to support research into energy efficiency and a low carbon built environment, and participated in several component projects aligned to our research functions.

The CRC came to an end in June 2019.

What we found

The CRC’s final report (June 2019) documents its impacts and key achievements in driving improvements for a low carbon built environment. See below for a summary of the key projects supported by the VBA.

The project addresses this challenge by trialling the efficacy of team-based and game-based mobile learning (m-learning) in two related streams of research and development. The first stream focuses on professionals and tradespeople and the second on consumers. This project builds directly on the findings of the Education and Training Scoping Study (RP3006).

This project aimed to develop a shared platform for integrated energy, transport, waste and water (ETWW) demand forecasting and scenario planning, focusing on gaps, synergies, alternative approaches and required research directions. It included a series of facilitated national workshops on demand forecasting for ETWW utilities and services and on scenario generation and appraisal.

This project involved a survey of leading stakeholder groups and CRC participants engaged in existing low carbon education programs to determine existing opportunities and barriers to providing LCL products and services; identify relevant roles, delivery mechanisms, evaluation and monitoring methods to support educational and training programs, and identify future priority research areas for capacity building to be supported by the CRC LCL.

This project examined the changes in electricity use by Sydney households since 2008 that have installed solar PV technology compared to those who have not, in order to identify whether conservation or rebound effects are associated with solar PV take-up. Findings from this research have policy implications at federal and state government/energy utility levels (e.g. feed-in tariffs, pricing).

Final report:

This project aimed to provide an alternative approach that focuses on changing home renovation practices in Australia, exploring how media is used for advice and information, engaging practitioners, for social communication and popular education in the renovation process. The project integrated methodologies and expertise from across media and communication studies, sociology and design, and worked with a range of industry partners.

Final reports:

The research aimed to inform government policy to drive transformation of the built environment market. The project examined the role of best practice building codes, standards and regulations as a catalyst for transitioning to low carbon living.

Researchers have contributed to:

What difference this made

The CRC delivered a range of research, tools and evidence to improve planning and policy in the built environment. It achieved an economic benefit of $1.1 billion through its research projects, centres of excellence, technical standards and consumer guides.

Its BuiltBetter Knowledge Hub provides consumers, industry, researchers and government easy access to best practice information, practical forecasting tools, resources (such as low carbon guides) and academic publications to help consumers, industry and government make better decisions.

The CRC also established six nodes of excellence (at six universities) to deliver end-user driven research, vocational training and collaborative networks to raise awareness and uptake of low carbon practices in the broader community.