Research into engaging citizens in the design and management of the urban environment.
Image credit: Maria Gabriela Giurizzato Cremona
This project is a partnership with the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living, Victorian Building Authority, Master Builders Association, TAFE NSW, Sydney Coastal Council Group and Swinburne Pathways and Vocational Education (PAVE) Sector.
It involves applying the principles of mobile learning and gamification to develop a learning platform for building practitioners that can also be used to curate a portfolio of compliant work — a Building Quality Passport.
The building sector needs to decrease energy demand by 30 per cent by 2030 to contribute to keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Building practitioners will need to undertake training in order to meet new performance requirements aimed at achieving this target.
However, research has shown that building practitioners are largely disengaged from professional development, particularly when it requires downing tools to learn to comply with new provisions of building codes.
Our aim with this platform is to improve building code compliance rates alongside building energy performance, as well as to raise the engagement and value of professional development by adding value to compliance through education and marketing.
With project partners Canterbury University and the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information, this project involves developing a web-based system — the Envision Scenario Planner (ESP) tool — to sketch planning redevelopment options for an identified renewal precinct.
Once cadastral data has been imported into the system, lots can be amalgamated and subdivided, rezoned and allocated height limits. Users can then drag-and-drop objects from a library of over 100 precinct typologies, ranging from single houses to high-rise apartment buildings and even shops, schools and trees.
As a virtual neighbourhood is being designed in 3D, reports are generated, providing users with feedback on over 300 KPIs including embodied and operating carbon, operating energy, water demand, capital and operating costs, transport and a suite of planning metrics.
We’re involved in a number of global knowledge exchange, data sharing and policy analysis platforms that are being developed and managed at Swinburne, which include:
- Analysis and Policy Online
- Built Better — a knowledge hub for low-carbon living research
- The Global Buildings Performance Network
New projects include an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) project to develop new, harmonised knowledge-sharing digital infrastructure and an international collaboration with global cities' networks to provide an evidence base on building energy policies for municipalities.
In this age of largely free and unfettered access to information, it is hard to discern facts from opinions. Policy makers need to navigate, analyse and prioritise a broad range of online resources and data in order to tailor solutions to their specific local circumstances.
However, the proliferation of online resources does not necessarily lead to better decision-making or access to trusted sources. More needs to be done to provide a clear and consistent evidence base to support urban policy making and community participation, which is why we’re focused on developing these platforms.