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Analysis of the performance of a sustainable house, including consumer behaviour

Stephen, Jamie (2014) Analysis of the performance of a sustainable house, including consumer behaviour. Other thesis, Murdoch University.

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Growing populations and diminishing water supplies are a major cause of concern for the future of cities around the world, including Perth. In order to support a larger population, it is necessary to decrease the amount of water and energy consumed per person.

This report analyses the performance of a Perth house designed to consume significantly less water and energy than the metropolitan average, through the introduction of sustainable technologies and efficient appliances and behaviours. By collecting and analysing data from 55 sensors in the house, it was possible to accurately quantify water and energy performance over the period of this project.

It was found that the house consumed 90-94% less scheme water than a standard Perth household, due to the alternative water sources in place, including rainwater, grey water reuse and bore water. With no hard surfaces on-site, the site recharges more water to the superficial aquifer than the bore draws. The house also consumed 38% less electricity than the Perth average, and was a net exporter of electricity (6.3kWh/day) owing to a 3kW solar PV system. A life cycle analysis showed an operational energy reduction of 111% over the business as usual approach, due to solar passive design, low-energy lighting and appliances, absence of mechanical heating or cooling, and the presence of solar hot water and PV systems.

As well as technology improvements, consumer behaviour was found to be significant in water and energy conservation. It was estimated that by being highly engaged users in terms of both energy and water, the occupants of Josh’s House would save approximately 20% on both energy and water through behavioural efforts alone. The relationship between attitudes and actual behaviours was investigated, and a new model for delivery of future behaviour change programs was proposed.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Anda, Martin
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