The Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL) has announced that it has joined the University of South Australia to create the first Adelaide Living Laboratory (ALL) program, a research hub designed to investigate ways to lower carbon emissions in our built environment.

The venture will be carried out over four year in an onsite research format at the South Australian towns of Tonsley, Lochiel Park and Bowden. The community, industry and university participants will all contribute to the research in a bid to develop and propagate better understandings of low carbon living to the South Australian and greater Australian communities.

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.

Both towns are also currently working to achieve a targeted Green Star-Communities 5 star rating.

CRCLCL CEO Deo Prasad said not only does the partnership allow participants to interact with similar projects across the country, it also opens up opportunities to collaborate with the 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,” 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.”

University of South Australia Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd says the Living Laboratories partnership is an exciting opportunity for South Australia to emerge as 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,” Llyod says. 

“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.”