Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC)

What we're about:
Leading the way towards a restorative future

The Sustainable Buildings Research Centre is a 6 Star Green Star- Education Design v1 accredited, multi-disciplinary facility that hosts a wide range of research and industry collaborations to address the challenges of making buildings sustainable. We are pioneering new approaches to retrofitting techniques to create more effective places to live and work. Located at the University of Wollongong's Innovation Campus, this beautiful new centre is alive with student research as a Living Laboratory and thrives on collaboration with industry. The building was designed and constructed based on the principles of the Living Building Challenge, pushing the boundaries of sustainable design and construction with hopes to inspire communities throughout Australia to take action on sustainability.

The aim of the SBRC is to research, collaborate, and link with industry to meet the challenge of improving the energy efficiency of our new and existing building stock. The SBRC will lead the way in sustainable building research through delivery of advanced retrofit technologies, integrated component testing, skills training and researching the impacts of day to day behaviours of building occupants.

Bushfire Resilience Research by SBRC PhD Student

bushfire resilience

UOW article discussing bushfire resilience in a variety of settings. It looks into the home owner's perspective, the physical preparedness of individual houses and the cost of retrofitting. This is a lovely demonstration of some of the comprehensive research members of the SBRC team are participating in.


SBRC Student Wins Best Presentation Award at Conference

federico ERA

SBRC PhD student Federico Tartarini (pictured left) has won the Best Presentation Award at the recent Emerging Researchers in Ageing Conference in Canberra. Federico presented on his work on environmental quality in residential aged care facilities. Congratulations Federico on this great achievement.

Improving commercial building performance with air tightness

SBRC | Air tightness

There are many potential benefits in air tightness to a building operation including energy use, thermal comfort, acoustics and air quality; benefits that could be realised if we pay similar attention to how air moves through our buildings that other developed nations already do. Some of the benefits are readily apparent whereas others are more subtle.


The SBRC LIEEP Team Wins Vice Chancellor's Award

LIEEP VC award

The Energy+ Low Income Energy Efficiency Project (LIEEP) won Highly Commended for Interdisciplinary Research at this year's Vice Chancellor's Awards. The project team involved both the SBRC- Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences and Faculty of Social Sciences. We would like to congratulate the team on their enormous effort in this project. The SBRC also celebrated the success of our Administration Officer, Robyn Dawson, in winning the Marie Lewis Award.


SBRC Celebrates Four Graduates

sbrc graduation 2016

The SBRC would like to congratulate our four students graduating this July. Daniel Daly, Laia Ledo and Massimo Fiorentini all received their PhD and are staying on as staff at the SBRC. Steven Beltrame completed his Bachelor of Engineering and is now commencing his PhD candidature with the SBRC.

SBRC Team Member Wins Marie Lewis Award

Robyn Marie lewis

Robyn Dawson has won the prestigious Marie Lewis Award at this year's Vice-Chancellors Awards. Robyn wins this award for her exceptional work as Administration Officer for the SBRC and her outstanding academic record for her studies in a Bachelor of Commerce. Robyn is a a key member the SBRC and a huge part of our ongoing success.  

Research into Temperature Control in Aged Care Facilities

Federico Guardian article

PhD Candidate Federico Tartarini is conducting research into the effects of temperature on dementia patients to determine the most comfortable temperatures for aged care facilities. 


SBRC Delegates Attend International CLIMA Conference

clima conference

Five delegates from the SRBC team visited Aalborg, Denmark for the 12th REHVA World Congress focused on HVAC system performance in practice. All presented on their research in this area and actively pursued new research interests to bring home and share with the SBRC team.

SBRC Involved in Renewable Energy Storage Research Project

Renewable battery project

The SBRC is one of the UOW research groups involved in a new $10.6 million project to develop low-cost, high-density battery storage to integrate renewable energy sources, such as solar power, into the grid. 


Research into Water Sprinkler Systems for Bushfire Protection is Underway

bushfire sprinkler system

PhD student Alan Green is researching effective sprinkler systems for more bushfire-resilient homes. A high-speed camera is used to measure the size and speed of water droplets from four common sprinkler heads used in bushfire water spray systems.



Low Income Energy Efficiency Project Research at the SBRC

LIEEP fridges

SBRC researchers have been testing the energy efficiency of fridges as part of LIEEP. This project is looking at energy use in low-income elderly households in the Illawarra. The Energy Plus project is aimed at helping people live more comfortably in their houses.


Celebrating Our SBRC Graduates


On December 15th two of our SBRC students, Su and Scott (pictured in the centre above) graduated from their respective degrees. Scott Redwood completed a Masters of Engineering by Research and is continuing on with his own business venture, Progenia. Su Huang successfully completed his Doctor of Philosophy degree with research into Ground Source Heat Pumps. He will be starting a new position with SBRC partner GeoExchange in the new year.

We are very proud of their achievements and wish them all the best for their future endeavours!

Making the Next Generation of Engineers Think Greener


The SBRC team under the guidance of Dr Duane Robinson, Dr Zhenjun Ma and Professor Paul Cooper has helped a consortium of Australia’s leading universities and industry partners to launch newly developed teaching and learning tools aimed to increase the level of energy efficiency awareness in engineering degrees. Led by the Queensland University of Technology, the consortium engaged heavily with industry and government bodies to ensure the teaching and learning tools were suitable to up-skill the next generation of engineers. 

The resources are now freely available to engineering educators, ready to splice into existing lecture material and include: multi-media video and flat-pack modules, deep dive case studies, and a virtual reality experience. Each of the teaching and learning tools have companion and supporting documents to assist both educators and students in implementing and understanding the tools. The SBRC development team included: Rui Yan, Herath Jayawardana, Wenye Li and Xiang Deng.

Project partners included: QUT; University of Adelaide; University of Wollongong; Victoria University; Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology with industry support from: Engineers Australia; Australasian Association of Engineering Education; Australian Council of Engineering Deans; Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council; Australian Power Institute; Mining Education Australia; and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. 

The project was funded by the Australian Government.


The SBRC Achieves Green Building Certification


The Sustainable Buildings Research Centre has achieved 6 Star Green Star- Education Design v1 accreditation from the Green Building Council of Australia. Green star certification evaluates environmentally sustainable design practices and by achieving this accreditation, the SBRC has been recognised as a world leader in sustainability.


Energy Efficiency Training:
A New Approach

UOW is offering a new approach to energy efficiency training for engineers with a focus on four key areas:

  1. Energy Efficiency In Electricity generation, transmission, distribution and demand-side management
  2. Energy Efficiency In the Built Environment
  3. Energy Efficiency enhancements in Industry
  4. Changing user perceptions and behaviours to maximise the community’s adoption of energy efficient technologies

 Find out more about our short courses.

SBRC Short Course Images 1 - Renewable gen