Research

Supporting encounters and casual social ties in large apartment complexes and their surroundings: The role of people, planning, design and management

Author or co-authors: Sian Thompson

Published: Thompson, S. (2019). Supporting encounters and casual social ties in large apartment complexes and their surroundings: The role of people, planning, design and management. (Doctoral thesis, UNSW Sydney).

This paper has been peer reviewed

Funders: Australian University Postgraduate Award

Keywords: Architecture, Building management, Community, Design, Liveability, Planning, Qualitative research/interviews,

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Summary:

Driven by policy, demographic and market factors, increasing numbers of people are living in apartment buildings. Especially where populations are heterogeneous and highly mobile, this presents major challenges for social connection, and consequently for social cohesion and individual wellbeing. There is a need to better understand how positive social connection might be facilitated amongst apartment residents, and what role building design and management can play. This thesis presents case study research into relationships in four large Sydney apartment complexes and their surroundings.

An Examination of Building Defects in Multi-owned Properties

Author or co-authors: Nicole Johnston, Sacha Reid

Funders: PICA Group

Keywords: Construction, Defects, Development, Dispute resolution / courts / tribunals, Law, Qualitative research/interviews,

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Summary:

The research aims to identify the types of building defects impacting residential buildings, the effects that building defects have on buildings and residents, the impact of the regulatory environment and how defects are managed by the owners corporation. The study identified the prevalence of building defects based on construction systems. Defects were most prevalent in following systems (in order): building fabric and cladding, fire protection, roof and rainwater disposal, waterproofing and structural.

Impact of shared battery energy storage systems on photovoltaic self-consumption and electricity bills in apartment buildings

Author or co-authors: Mike Roberts, Anna Bruce, Iain MacGill

Published: Applied Energy 245, 78-95, DOI 10.1016/j.apenergy.2019.04.001

Funders: Energy Consumers Australia, CRC for Low Carbon Living

Keywords: Building improvements, Environment, Sustainability, Utilities / networks,

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Summary:

Apartment buildings offer an opportunity to apply central battery storage and shared solar generation to aggregated apartment and common loads through an embedded network or microgrid. We present a study of energy and financial flows in five Australian apartment buildings with photovoltaics and battery storage using real apartment interval-metered load profiles and simulated solar generation profiles, modelled using an open source tool developed for the purpose.

Opportunities and barriers for photovoltaics on multi-unit residential buildings: reviewing the Australian experience

Author or co-authors: Mike Roberts, Anna Bruce, Iain MacGill

Published: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 104, 2019, Pages 95-110, doi: 10.1016/j.rser.2018.12.013

Funders: Energy Consumers Australia, CRC for Low Carbon Living

Keywords: Building improvements, Environment, Sustainability, Utilities / networks,

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Summary:

This paper reviews opportunities for, and barriers to, increasing photovoltaic (PV) deployment on apartment buildings. We undertook a review of the academic literature and of specific Australian regulatory arrangements, as well as conducting interviews with relevant stakeholders. Barriers identified include the huge variety amongst apartment building stock, demographic factors and knowledge issues. However, the Australian regulatory context – including governance of apartment buildings, regulation of the energy market, and electricity tariff policies – also impacts on the options available.

Photovoltaics on Apartment Buildings

Author or co-authors: Mike Roberts, Anna Bruce, Iain MacGill, Jessie Copper, Navid Haghdadi

Funders: Energy Consumers Australia

Keywords: Building improvements, Environment, Sustainability, Utilities / networks,

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Summary:

Although Australia has over 2 million solar households, the 10% of Australians who live in apartments are still missing out on cheap, clean energy. This final report from CEEM's three-year research project includes an assessment of the scale and nature of the solar opportunity and analysis of the costs and benefits of different technical configurations and financial arrangements. It also identifies some of the challenges preventing apartment residents from installing solar PV and suggest some policy reforms that could help overcome the key regulatory barriers.