Australian residential sector contributes approximately 13 per cent of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The New South Wales (NSW) government in Australia has introduced mandatory energy efficiency/ GHG emissions reduction target through the Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) assessment tool, which estimates the operational energy consumption and GHG emissions from new residential developments based on information available at the building design stage. However, post-occupancy energy consumption can be different from the estimated figures at the design stage. This research aims to disentangle the relationships between various attributes that influence energy consumption at the dwelling scale through a post-occupancy residential energy performance analysis model. The model combines multidimensional attributes which include building design features, construction quality, possession of household appliances and their usage, demographic and homeowners’ energy use behaviour. The model allows comparing the estimated energy consumption/ GHG emissions from BASIX assessment with actual energy consumption/ GHG emissions in the real household environment. Data for this study has been collected from a sample of 48 BASIX affected dwellings located in the greater Sydney area which includes energy bill data, real-time monitoring of electricity consumption and indoor environment (temperature and humidity) data.
This paper reports findings based on the data collected from late 2015 to mid-2016 from 16 dwellings. The initial results demonstrate discrepancies in energy consumption (therefore GHG emissions), household occupancy and breakdown of energy consumption for various services between BASIX estimates and the collected data. Given that BASIX assessment is based on information available at the design stage, the reported discrepancies are expected. More importantly, the initial results show that BASIX assessments under-estimated energy consumption for active cooling and over-estimated consumption for lighting and ventilation and other household plug loads.
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Sustainability assessment tools aim to promote high sustainability outcomes in residential buildings, ensuring less consumption of water, energy and less emission of greenhouse gases. However, existing literature often presents variations between the estimated outcomes from the assessment tools and actual outcomes after building occupation.
Buildings are major consumers of energy for heating and cooling. The number of buildings is growing rapidly with demand for energy. To reduce consumption, governments worldwide have implemented codes, standards, and building practices.
This report is a product of the collaborative research project ‘Validating and Improving the BASIX Assessment Tool for Low-Carbon Dwellings’. Initiated by the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the New South Wales Government, this project addresses the policy need for post-occupancy evaluation of the BASIX tool by measuring the actual energy consumption of BASIX-compliant dwellings.
This book focuses on the challenge that Australia faces in transitioning to renewable energy and regenerating its cities via a transformation of its built environment. It identifies innovative and effective pathways for decarbonising the built environment from applied research undertaken by the Co-Operative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living.