Education (Schools) Living Laboratories: Sector-wide engagement and impact (LLS1)

Project dates: 2019 - Ongoing

This project will develop the framework to quantify the impact of a holistic and integrated approach to building upgrades on classroom indoor environment quality (IEQ), school energy consumption and demand profiles.

Australia’s school stock will use an estimated 8.8PJ of energy in 2020. The provision of (or demand for) thermally comfortable teaching environments (through passive or active systems) is a large driver for rising energy consumption in Australian schools. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) presents a significant energy and demand challenge to school communities and education departments with social, technical, economic and environmental consequences. Approaches to the provision of ‘Cool Schools’ and renewable energy in schools still tends to happen in an ad hoc and silo-approach manner (i.e. without considering the system of the occupants, buildings, technologies and electricity grid, and the management and control of that system).

This project will directly address the above challenges by engaging the HVAC and building services sectors and education (schools) sectors in collaboratively developing the processes for independent validation of potential solutions in a Living Laboratory. All sectors will work to develop new key performance indicators and metrics that link energy performance (especially peak demand, demand response, renewable energy and resilience) to core education services (e.g. teaching hours, student enrolments, healthy learning environments or student performance outcomes). A meta analysis of the international literature will further support this process.

Funding / Grants

  • ARENA, iHUB member organisations and industry. Amount: $480,570.


Other Partners

The University of Wollongong (lead)