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NSW home energy research needs 50 more homeowner participants first report reveals

Posted 4 June 2015 - 9:24am

The first phase report of research to assess and improve the current and compulsory sustainability residential property construction regulation tool – the Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) - released today, reveals another 50 NSW homeowners of dwellings 10 years old or less and passionate about understanding their energy use, are still required for this major energy research project.

BASIX has been compulsory for 10 years and is used by NSW State and Local Governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  It also provides the homeowner with an energy savings guide whilst providing a valuable contribution to the State’s sustainable future.

The research, funded by the CRC for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL) and conducted by the University of New South Wales (UNSW), showed that of the 128 people, 71% of which had dwellings of four or more bedrooms, that completed an initial online and paper survey, 69 have gone through to the second monitoring research stage but more are required.

Project Leader Dr Lan Ding said data from a further 50 participants will provide added impact to the research.

“We need homeowners with buildings 10 years old and therefore built following the BASIX guidelines. Getting involved will not take up much time.  It involves an initial five minute survey for the first phase and then the second phase involves an assessment of the property and installation of non-invasive energy monitoring equipment.  The energy and overall environmental monitoring will be for one year to collect winter and summer data,” she said.

“Benefit to participants includes a unique opportunity to review their home’s actual energy usage and compare it to a city scale and be directly involved in updating the BASIX tool, which will have a large impact on the sustainable future of housing in New South Wales. It is also an opportunity to participate in building construction performance analysis, such as air leakage.

“Overall research findings will assist to identify areas for improvement of the BASIX tool. This will inform sustainability strategies policy to enable government regulators better understand design options and post occupancy behaviour,” she said

 The first phase of the study also showed that 72.44% of those surveyed need to heat and cool their dwellings with 72.22% using an air conditioner to cool and 66.14% used gas for their hot water.

According to Professor Deo Prasad, CRCLCL CEO the study will inform future sustainability strategies and policy to enable government regulators better understand design options and post-occupancy behaviour.

 "This is the opportunity for NSW home owners to take part in a project that will influence policy and planning decisions, that ultimately affect how new residential buildings are constructed."

To take part homeowners must complete the first survey:

The UNSW research is partnered with the City of Sydney, NSW Department of Planning and Environment, the Commonwealth Department of Industry. Additional support was provided by Sutherland Shire Council. Ku-Ring-Gai Council, Campbelltown City Council, Parramatta City Council, Liverpool City Council and Penrith City Council

Media Contacts:

CRC for Low Carbon Living:  Sharon Kelly E:                    M: +61 414 780 077

UNSW Media Contact: Lissa Christopher, Journalist UNSW Medicine and Faculty of Built Environment Media Office Ph: (02) 9385 8920

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