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RP1041: Examining building compliance issues to improve thermal performance of dwellings for carbon positive and healthy homes

Project leader name: 
Dr Anir Upadhyay
Project status: 
Project period: 
11/2018 to 04/2019

Australian dwellings are responsible for around 14% of the total energy (i.e. around 557 PJ) consumed in Australia (ABS, 2012) to fulfil household energy requirements. The largest share of energy consumption is to maintain indoor thermal comfort by using space heating and cooling appliances (Pipkorn, 2013). In future, the energy demand for space cooling will be higher due to global warming if building design, construction methods and household energy consumption behaviour are not addressed urgently. Decarbonising of Australian dwellings would require significant reduction or elimination of space heating and cooling energy consumption without compromising the occupants’ health and comfort. Although building energy efficiency measures are integrated in National Construction Code (NCC) of Australia, the actual energy performance (at post-occupancy stage) of dwellings are falling short than the estimated energy consumption at the design stage. A recent study (Ding et al. 2018) reported a significant performance gap in space cooling and heating energy consumption at the post occupancy stage. 

This project aims to examine building construction quality and its impact on energy performance for space conditioning. Most often, sub-standard construction practices are responsible for high level of energy performance gap. The project utilises data from the previous projects (RP1017 and RP1010) to explore building compliance issues associated with construction quality; particularly on building assemblies, insulation installations, building air-tightness, air-conditioning ducting and ventilation arrangements. The project further carries out an in-depth building diagnostic on a recently built house to develop compliance standards and methods of verifications to ensure high standard energy efficiency provisions are met at the construction of buildings.  


Publications related to this project

This study maintains that understanding the local climate is the significant step in developing energy efficient design and construction methods to address the growing energy needs in a dwelling.