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Toward net zero carbon homes: can the utilisation of commonly available renewable energy and energy efficient technologies allow an existing home to be retrofitted to be operationally carbon neutral?

Berry, Stephen (2010) Toward net zero carbon homes: can the utilisation of commonly available renewable energy and energy efficient technologies allow an existing home to be retrofitted to be operationally carbon neutral? Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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    Abstract

    The energy performance and greenhouse gas impact of homes has been at the forefront of Australian climate change mitigation policy discussion for several decades. Various levels of government have acted to improve the energy and carbon efficiency of new homes through planning and building regulatory instruments. Most recently the Building Code of Australia has been used to introduce minimum energy efficiency standards for new homes at 4 stars in 2003, 5 stars in 2006 and 6 stars in 2010.

    But while improving the performance of long-lived assets such as new homes is a commonly used policy of developed nations, the relatively poor energy and greenhouse performing existing housing stock will continue to have a significant impact on global greenhouse gas emissions for many decades.

    The concept of net zero carbon homes has been in the Australian policy debate since that target was set by the United Kingdom Government for new homes in 2007, with the policy commencing in 2016. And while the focus of the policy debate to date has been centred on the construction of new homes, can the same concept of net zero carbon homes realistically be applied to the existing housing stock?

    Very little information is available about the practical implementation of net zero carbon retrofits on existing Australian homes, and therefore little is known about the value of the concept in reducing the greenhouse gas emission impact of the existing building stock.

    The research question was consequently framed as - can the utilisation of commonly available renewable energy and energy efficient technologies allow an existing home to be retrofitted to be operationally carbon neutral?

    This research project aims to provide additional information into the national climate change mitigation debate through the careful and detailed examination of the practical application of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies to an existing home.

    Publication Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Energy
    Supervisor: Pryor, Trevor
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/4170
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