SUSTAINABLE AND AFFORDABLE HOUSINg - Australian ...

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SUSTAINABLE AND AFFORDABLE HOUSINg - Australian ...

EXPERTISE

SERVICES

Curtin is recognised nationally and internationally for research

that focuses on real-world problems. This is achieved both

through rigorous academic analysis and publication and

through the regular undertaking of applied contract research

for government, industry and community groups.

Curtin’s expertise across sustainable and affordable housing is extensive: it

encompasses architects, valuers, urban planners and designers, sustainability

experts, materials scientists, economists and public policy experts. This

multidisciplinary body of expertise offers the skills needed to tackle sustainable

housing issues from a range of perspectives; individuals or teams utilise an array

of research approaches and tools to identify pathways and barriers to achieving

change, to turn data analysis into effective policy, and to develop new approaches

to planning, design and construction. This is enhanced by the use of sophisticated

3-D spatial modelling and visualisation tools that can integrate different housing

considerations and promote greater collaboration between stakeholders.

Curtin’s research history in built environment and design is strong – especially

in the discipline of urban and regional planning. The Excellence in Research for

Australia 2012 National Report – which rigorously measured Australia’s research

achievements against its peers around the world – ranked Curtin’s research in

this area as 'above world standard'.

Contributing to the University’s built environment and design capabilities

are the following research centres and institutes, hosted by Curtin:

• Centre for Research in Applied Economics

• John Curtin Institute of Public Policy

• Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute

• Centre for Materials Research

• Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre

• Australasian Joint Research Centre for Building Information Modelling.

These centres and institutes all contribute research expertise to the sustainable

and affordable housing collaboration.

Curtin is also a participant in the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.

for research that focuses on real-world problems.

Curtin offers a range of

services to those interested

in exploring and promoting

better housing options.

The diverse sustainable

and affordable housing

expertise within the

University can be drawn

on to provide the following:

Research services

We are interested in collaborating

with other researchers interested in

sustainable and affordable housing,

and in undertaking research

commissioned by government,

industry and community groups.

Consultancy services

The expertise of individuals or teams

can be accessed on a consultancy basis

to provide advice and direction for

general planning purposes, or to help

direct particular housing projects.

Advisory services

We are happy to offer advice on

specific developments, reviews, policy

development (national, state or local),

or as necessary.

Training and education services

We are able to draw on both practical

experience and academic expertise

to offer high-quality education and

training to different stakeholder groups

associated with the housing industry.

CONTACTS

Australian Sustainable Development

Institute

Mike Burbridge, Executive Director

Tel:
+61 8 9266 4243

Email:
mike.burbridge@curtin.edu.au

Australasian Joint Research Centre for

Building Information Modelling

Professor Xiangyu Wang, Co-Director

Tel:
+61 8 9266 9059

Email:
xiangyu.wang@curtin.edu.au

Centre for Materials Research

Professor Arie Van Riessen, Director

Tel:
+61 8 9266 7090

Email:
a.vanriessen@curtin.edu.au

Curtin University Sustainability

Policy Institute

Chiara Pacifici, University Associate

Email:
c.pacifici@curtin.edu.au

Roman Trubka, Research Fellow

Tel:
+61 8 9266 9030

Email:
r.trubka@curtin.edu.au

John Curtin Institute of Public Policy

Professor John Phillimore, Executive Director

Tel:
+61 8 9266 2849

Email:
j.phillimore@curtin.edu.au

School of Built Environment

Professor Sambit Datta

Tel:
+61 8 9266 3159

Email:
sambit.datta@curtin.edu.au

Associate Professor Reena Tiwari

Tel:
+61 8 9266 4730

Email: r.tiwari@curtin.edu.au

Dr Elizabeth Karol, Senior Lecturer

Tel:
+61 8 9266 7260

Email:
e.karol@exchange.curtin.edu.au

School of Economics and Finance

Dr Steven Rowley

Head, Department of Property Studies

Tel:
+61 8 9266 7721

Email:
steven.rowley@cbs.curtin.edu.au

Andrea Constable

Lecturer, Department of Property Studies

Tel: +61 8 9266 2844

Email:
andrea.constable@cbs.curtin.edu.au

Sustainable

and Affordable

Housing

Moving towards smarter housing

In countries around the world, there is growing awareness

of the need for new approaches to the way we design, build

and live within our residential spaces. Limited resources,

growing populations and climate change are driving the

need for houses that are not only more energy efficient, but

are also more environmentally friendly in their construction

and more adaptable to changing population densities and

demographics. At the same time, they need to be affordable

to build and to maintain.

Balancing these environmental, social and economic needs is a complex

task for the many stakeholders involved.

A collaborative research effort in sustainable and affordable housing –

facilitated by Curtin University's Australian Sustainable Development

Institute – aims to engage in knowledge-sharing to deliver outcomes of

significant value to communities locally, nationally and globally. This

collaboration draws together a wide range of housing-related expertise

from across the University to help government, industry, community

groups and other researchers address the many challenges and

opportunities presented by our changing housing needs.

Curtin is recognised nationally and internationally

Disclaimer

Information in this publication is correct at the time of printing but may be subject to change.

This material does not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Curtin accepts

no responsibility for and makes no representations, whether express or implied, as to the

accuracy or reliability in any respect of any material in this publication. Except to the extent

mandated otherwise by legislation, Curtin University does not accept responsibility for the

consequences of any reliance which may be placed on this material by any person. Curtin

will not be liable to you or to any other person for any loss or damage (including direct,

consequential or economic loss or damage) however caused and whether by negligence or

otherwise which may result directly or indirectly from the use of this publication.

Copyright information

Except as permitted by the Copyright Act 1968, this material may not be reproduced, stored

or transmitted without the permission of the copyright owner. All enquiries must be directed

to Curtin University.

Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of Technology

© Curtin University 2013

CRICOS Provider Code 00301J (WA), 02637B (NSW)

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Make tomorrow better.


esearch strengths

Policy and

planning

Good – and comprehensive – information is needed

to plan effectively for the housing needs of growing

and diverse populations, especially within the context

of depleting or fragile natural resources. Curtin has

significant experience in undertaking research and

analysis to better inform policymaking, and has

access to a range of sophisticated planning tools that

give physical shape to critical decision-making data.

housing

design and

construction

There are many aspects to designing and building

houses that will meet long-term environmental, social

and economic needs. These include reconsidering the

amount and type of building materials used, designing

for energy efficiency, understanding social and cultural

expectations of housing design, responding to changing

demographic needs, and addressing deficiencies in

current housing stock.

Progressing the

sustainability

agenda

There is strong recognition at Curtin within the

areas that contribute to sustainable and affordable

housing that smarter and more sustainable housing

options need to be understood and embraced by a

wide range of stakeholders before any significant

level of change can occur.

Limited resources, growing

populations and climate change

are driving the need for houses that

are not only more energy efficient,

but are also more environmentally

friendly in their construction and more

adaptable to changing population

densities and demographics.

Understanding housing needs and impacts

Property analysis experts within Curtin’s School of Economics and Finance

have an extensive track record in synthesising policy implications from housing

research, by taking into account the wide range of social and economic factors

that can affect housing policy and planning decisions.

Notable areas of strength include:

• analysis of housing affordability

• economic modelling of housing demand

• drivers of housing supply and demand in rural and regional centres

• housing market dynamics in resource-rich regions

• the effects of demographic change on demand for and use of houses

• links between labour markets and housing

• how bank lending decisions impact on housing supply

• the relationship between housing stress and household wellbeing.

Researchers within the school possess considerable expertise in statistical

data analysis and modelling, including longitudinal and time series modelling,

and have conducted research both locally and internationally for governments

and the housing industry. This work is framed by the broader public policy

understanding offered by the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy in areas

such as state/federal relations, rural and regional development, science,

innovation and technology, service delivery to Indigenous communities, and

labour markets and skill shortages.

Improving decision-making

The Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute draws on its skills

in spatial economics to aid decision-making about where housing

developments should be located to obtain the best economic, social

and environmental outcomes. For example, it has developed models for

predicting the costs – including of greenhouse gas emissions – on proposed

urban developments, enabling planners to compare the costs of inner-city

infill with conventional fringe developments, among other scenarios.

This is further assisted by geographic information system tools that

overlay critical data, such as demographics, location of amenities and

economic activity, land values, and accessibility of transport and other

infrastructure, to identify optimum locations and provide 3-D visualisation

of how development will affect the existing urban profile. As well as

bringing a much stronger science and technology base to planning, these

visualisation tools enable greater collaboration between key stakeholders –

such as government, developers and community groups – at critical

decision-making stages.

Contributing areas

• Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute

• John Curtin Institute of Public Policy

• School of Economics and Finance

Alternative materials

With ordinary cements demanding vast supplies of raw materials and

emitting almost one tonne of CO2 for every tonne used, Curtin’s materials

scientists are working on greener building products such as geopolymer – an

alternative, strong-performing concrete binder that is made from industry

residue, including flyash from coal-fired power stations, and which has a much

lower CO2 footprint than cement. With prototypes developed demonstrating

that the material is fire-resistant, lightweight and has excellent insulating

properties, this research is attracting international interest and is now ready

for commercial application.

Alternative design

Architects and urban planners within Curtin's School of Built Environment

have a strong track record in developing and promoting more energy-efficient

homes, and have won awards for their leading-edge designs that blend reduced

water and energy use with architectural quality and style. They are also

interested in ensuring that housing design responds effectively to the diverse

needs and behaviours of the people who occupy them – through understanding

different cultural and social expectations of living spaces, and the needs that

arise from shifting demographics. How will Australia’s suburbs, for example,

respond to a sizeable baby boomer generation that wants to retain its

independence as it ages? And how can our public housing accommodate the

needs of different users and different ethnic groups?

Other researchers within the school are expert in the application of computing

and digital technologies in architecture. As well as being able to turn spatial

concepts into sophisticated physical models, the school’s ‘Codelab’ group

has access to data visualisation and parametric design tools that integrate

design with environmental analysis. This enables immediate feedback about

the environmental impact of different design decisions – such as the effect of

design changes on the regulation of light and shade, ventilation and thermal

comfort. Researchers are using these tools to develop innovative but affordable

environmentally friendly design options for progressive regional councils in

Western Australia, including prototypes for individual dwellings in housing

estates (Bunbury), large-scale precincts (Pilbara), and modular housing for

mining camps.

Working with what we’ve got

Recognising that the bulk of our housing needs are met by existing housing

stock with mixed environmental credentials, researchers within the Curtin

University Sustainability Policy Institute are exploring the retrofitting of

homes to make them more energy efficient. Work to date has included the

identification of barriers within the Strata Title Act 1985 that prevent individual

owners, and strata bodies as a whole, from making their dwellings more water

and energy efficient.

Contributing areas

• Australasian Joint Research Centre for Building Information Modelling

• Centre for Materials Research

• Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute

• School of Built Environment

benefits of sustainable design

How can planners, designers, builders, developers, the real estate industry

and the public at large – a number of whom have a strong profit agenda –

be persuaded that building fewer but expecting more from our dwellings is

the right way to go? And how can we ensure that energy-efficient design

is backed up by energy-efficient behaviour, and doesn’t just become 'eco

window-dressing'?

Members of the group are already working to:

• use available technology (for example, simulation and visualisation tools)

to promote more informed discussion between different stakeholders,

such as urban planners, developers and community groups

• involve the community more in the design process through scenariobased

round tables and ‘enquiry by design’ workshops

• facilitate better communication with the property industry about the

benefits of green building design and environmentally sustainable

development

• identify how occupant behaviour can limit or maximise the effectiveness

of environmental design.

Researchers at the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute

have worked directly with the property industry to help communicate

the benefits of environmentally sustainable design and development to

consumers. The active public affairs program of the John Curtin Institute of

Public Policy also provides opportunities to promote public discussion and

debate on the way forward.

Contributing areas

• Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute

• John Curtin Institute of Public Policy

• School of Built Environment

In countries around the

world, there is growing

awareness of the need

for new approaches to

the way we design,

build and live within our

residential spaces.

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