Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC)

The Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC) is a multi-disciplinary facility that brings together a wide range of researchers to holistically address the challenges of making our buildings sustainable and effective places in which to live and work.

Our mission is to assist in the rapid decarbonisation of our built environment. Thus, a major focus of the SBRC is the retrofitting of existing buildings, since replacement of existing building stock occurs at between only one to two percent per year. The SBRC brings together researchers, students and industry to:

  • Develop, prototype and test sustainable building technologies and designs for residential and commercial applications
  • Perform in-depth experimental and theoretical analysis of the thermal design of buildings
  • Develop architectural and structural design tools to facilitate the inclusion of ecological costing throughout the design phase of buildings (e.g. water, embodied energy, carbon)
  • Investigate day-to-day behaviour of building occupants to improve our effectiveness of building use and design and improve the uptake of environmentally sustainable technologies
  • Develop novel control systems and sensor technology for improving building performance
  • Develop novel modelling tools to aid sustainable design

KEY BUILDING FEATURES

 net zero energyNET ZERO ENERGY

160kW onsite renewable
energy system produces
more power than the building
uses each year

 car free livingCAR FREE LIVING

Twenty dedicated bike spaces
with change rooms,
electric vehicle parking
and close to public transport

 net zero waterNET ZERO WATER

Onsite rainwater harvesting
and treatment system

 edible gardensEDIBLE GARDENS

Onsite vegetable, herb
and fruit gardens

 building layoutBUILDING LAYOUT

H-shaped floorplate
designed to optimise
natural ventilation, provide
access to fresh air, natural
light and optimise the use
of thermal mass

 plug and playPLUG & PLAY MICRO GRID

Advanced electrical and
communication system
to mimic the broader utility
network and enable testing
and demonstration of emerging
power technologies

 hybrid mmvHYBRID MIXED MODE VENTILATION

Maximised natural
ventilation system with
a ground source heat
exchanger and in-slab
hydronics system

advanced bmsADVANCED BUILDING
MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Advanced BMS to control,
monitor and report on all
building systems

locally sourced

LOCALLY SOURCED
MATERIALS

All primary materials have
been sourced within a limited
radius of site to contribute to
the regional economy

safe materialsENVIRONMENTALLY
SAFE MATERIALS

Building materials
predominantly free of
Red Listed chemicals

low impact ITLOW IMPACT IT SOLUTION

Energy efficient thin-client
hardware operating in a
virtual desktop environment
with softphone technology

green wallINTERNAL GREEN WALL

Three vertical green walls within
internal atrium space

 

SBRC CUMULATIVE ENERGY PERFORMANCE

cumulative graph

See a breakdown of the SBRC and it’s features!

KEY PERFORMANCE TARGETS

  • Net zero energy. SBRC will produce more power than it consumes.
  • Water exporter. SBRC will harvest and distribute water beyond its own needs.
  • Natural ventilation. Natural Ventilation design with task based, passive conditioning using various methods (including ground source heating and cooling, solar walls, earth to air heat exchanger).
  • Building integrated smart-grid. Integrated power grid capable of simultaneous testing of multiple renewable energy generation sources and storage systems.
  • Fully integrated Green IT building management system. SBRC will be wired to measure and report on all aspects of sustainability (including workgroup power consumption, water use, printing statistics).
  • Natural Waste Water System. A grey water separation and natural treatment
    system will enable export of grey water to nearby buildings.
  • Sustainable IT Solution. SBRC will deliver a cutting edge holistic approach to Green IT.
  • Urban agriculture. Inclusion of permaculture and Australian native food gardens across the SBRC site.

RESEARCH THEMES

Water, Wind, Earth of Fire, we tackle the lot!

Our themes and areas of research are diverse, all focused on making buildings more livable, more sustainable, more cost-effective, and kinder to our environment.

energyefficiencyENERGY: EFFICIENCY, GENERATION AND STORAGE

– Micro-grid (building scale or precinct scale)
– Ground source heat pumps
– Smart home systems and Building Management Systems (BMS)
– Phase Change Material (PCM) applications
– Photovoltaic-Thermal (PVT) systems
– Demand-side management and Distributed generation
– Energy informatics/intelligent built environment
– Net Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB)

resilienceRESILIENCE & CLIMATE ADAPTION

– Aged care
– Urban heat island
– Thermal comfort and heatwaves
– Green and cool roofs, and walls
– Bushfire
– Flood

 

 humanHUMAN FACTORS

– Aged care
– Low income households
– Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ)
– Thermal Comfort
– Facilitating deep retrofits

 

 

waterWATER

– Solar powered membrane distillation
– Energy from waste water
– Black and grey water treatment
– Green roofs and living walls
– Net zero water buildings

 

 

materialsMATERIALS, CONSTRUCTION AND LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS

– Materials life cycle analysis
– Building fabric upgrades
– Heat and moisture transfer in buildings
– Building Management Systems (BMS)
– Educational buildings
– Low grade commercial buildings
– Retrofitting methodologies

modellingMODELLING AND DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS

– Building energy modelling
– Cost benefit analysis
– Decision support systems
– Life cycle analysis

 

Source : https://sbrc.uow.edu.au/aboutus/index.html