An artist's impression of the Tonsley redevelopment.

The South Australian Government has partnered with the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living and the University of South Australia to create a “Living Laboratory” that will investigate pathways for a more sustainable Adelaide.

The four year venture is an action-based project that will use research undertaken by industry, university and the community across three key development sites at Tonsley, Lochiel Park and Bowden to help shape the future of low carbon living and design in South Australia and across the country.

University of South Australia vice chancellor Professor David Lloyd said the partnership was an exciting opportunity for the state to become the national leader in low carbon research.

“This is really enterprising research with enormous potential to change the way we design communities and the way we live in the future,” Professor Lloyd said.

“One of the early deliverables will be to report on the economic, social and environmental value of zero carbon housing and urban development.

“The very nature of the research collaboration is exciting because it is bringing together university researchers with government, industry and community to devise and test better ways of living in the environment.

“Even more importantly the project will contribute to tangible reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the built form, and deliver industry collaborations to prototype, test, develop and commercialise the products, systems and services that can underpin future low carbon communities.”

CRCLCL chief executive Professor Deo Prasad said the partnership allowed participants to interact with similar CRCLCL projects across the country, though also opened up opportunities to collaborate with a growing network of European living laboratories.

“A number of research projects in Australia are already underway and vary in focus from energy demand management and modelling to community engagement and the evaluation of broader cultural, physical, economic and social impacts of low carbon living,” Professor Prasad said.

“These research outcomes will provide an evidence-base that can be rolled out nationally to enable significant reduction of carbon emissions of the building and construction development sector and urban communities. Our findings in turn can be of use to our European colleagues and vice versa.”

Stage 1 of the Living Laboratory is currently underway at Tonsley and Bowden, with a focus on integrated energy, water, waste, transport precinct modelling and energy demand management solutions.

The CRCLCL Adelaide Living Laboratory project will help Tonsley and Bowden achieve targeted 5 Star Green Star – Communities ratings.

The latest episode of Josh’s House features a look at the other site involved in the project, Lochiel Park, which has already seen a 30 per cent reduction in energy use.

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