Why we made Renovate or Rebuild with host Josh Byrne

– I’ve been involved in sustainable housing research for a number of years now, with my role at Curtin University.


– I’ve been involved in
sustainable housing research for a number of years now, with
my role at Curtin University and the CRC for Low Carbon Living. And whilst our research work has provided some really insightful results to see just how easy it is to see, current mainstream volume housing, transition to lower energy,
lower carbon future. We’ve got some great case studies, we’ve demonstrated how these
houses can perform better through thoughtful design, and
the right use of technology, and solar energy in particular. And that they can perform so much better, cost effectively. The problem’s been, is
that we’re just not hitting the mass audience. We’ve kind of, demonstrated to industry and to academia that all this works. I think it’s a pretty
good acceptance of that. Even policy-makers are getting it. But until we see, you know,
real demand from the market, you’ve always got the volume builders, who often work on pretty tight margins, saying, well unless the demand is there, we’re not gonna do much
more than we have to do. And you know, for them any
change does cost money, they have to change suppliers, they have to, you know,
up-skill some of their team, change supply chains. And so, whilst none of this
is kind of revolutionary, it is still change. So unless the volume builders
see a real demand for it, they’re unlikely to make those changes. And I guess that’s kind of fair enough. And then you see the policy-makers who ultimately could regulate for higher building
standards, for example. I always get nervous around
the whole housing market thing. Unless I’ve got the big
builders on board in particular, they’re unlikely to, sort of,
regulate for change either. So enter this project,
which is all about seeing if we can’t excite the market. Get people who are thinking about either a major renovation or a new build, to think, hang on, we could do something where our homes are gonna be more
comfortable without the need for a lot of expensive air conditioning, where our homes could be, you know, healthier to be in because they’re better
cross ventilated naturally through the way that the
internal building’s designed and windows are placed. You know, how we could use appliances that are highly efficient, how we could actually do away with gas now and have a fully electric home that can be timed with solar generation. So you know, you’re not having
the cost of extra utilities. All of this makes a whole lot of sense. It doesn’t have to compromise
the look of the home. Often it will make it
actually feel a lot better. But what we’re trying to
do is align this, kind of, now well established design
and technology thinking with a lot of the
incredible social research that’s been done over recent years by the CRC for Low Carbon Living, and their partners, partner universities and government agencies as well. How do we align the design thinking with the social research that is showing that people aren’t resonating with terms like low carbon Surprise, surprise. Or climate change, or even sustainability. It’s just not hitting the mark. But what people are resonating with, are things like comfort, wellbeing, health, quality. It’s the me factor unfortunately, people are aspiring to. So what this project’s all about is trying to align the good design
and good technology thinking for better performing
buildings are gonna achieve a low carbon, more energy efficient, more effective electrical grid outcome, improve sustainability
of the industry overall, with people’s wants and needs. (robust outro music)

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