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March 13, 2015 / usydney

2013 CSIRO Symposium – Melbourne. Sustainability and Urban Futures

The sustainable communities research results were presented at the 2013 Sustainability and Urban Futures conference in 2013.  The presentation can found by clicking: HERE.

The conference website is here:   

January 3, 2013 / usydney

2012 ASR Published Paper – ‘Exploring the influence of housing design…’

Title: Exploring the influence of housing design and occupant environmental attitudes on energy and water usage.
Architectural Science Review Volume 55, Issue 3, 2012 Special Issue: ANZAScA 2012

Sustainable housing is intended to achieve a lower impact on the environment; however, to what extent occupants and their behaviour are a determinant in realising this goal is unclear. In this article occupant attitudes towards the environment are used as an indicator of behaviour while resource usage is used as an indicator for the environment. A study of occupants of sustainable and conventional housing is used to examine this question. The results show that the former use 75% less energy compared with those of conventional houses of the same age, in the same climate zone. More positive attitudes to environmental conservation correlated with lower energy use, but were not found to be a statistically significant predictor of energy use when analysed with other predictor variables. Hence, we argue that sustainable housing characteristics and associated technologies have a much higher weighting relative to occupant attitudinal factors. The data also suggest that the sustainable design of a detached house is associated with approximately double the reduction in energy consumption, compared with the influence of pro-environmental attitudes. Hence, sustainable attributes in the design of housing is a significant indicator in determining the resource usage of housing in this study. The implications of these results have an important part to play in the debate on influence of behavioural factors compared with technological factors in the drive to higher energy efficiency.Full Article – available from Taylor and Francis online:

By: Ben O’Callaghan (a), Heather J. Green (b), Richard A. Hyde (a), David Wadley (c) & Anir Upadhyay (a). Pages 176-185
(a) Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
(b) School of Applied Psychology & Behavioural Basis of Health Program, Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
(c) School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, University of Queensland, QLD, Australia

October 22, 2012 / usydney

2013 Thesis: Exploring housing resource consumption associations with sustainable housing design and occupant attitudes. Ben O’Callaghan

Exploring housing resource consumption associations with sustainable housing design and occupant attitudes:A south-east Queensland study. Thesis. O’Callaghan, B. 2013   This is available online at

or in hard copy at the University of Sydney library.

Or refer to the 2013 overview presentation.

December 9, 2011 / usydney

2011 APRU Paper by Anir Upadhyay

Does sustainable housing contribute to a better Quality of Life to the residents? A study of the Ecovillage at Currumbin. By Mr Anir Upadhyay et al. 2011

Presented in 2011 at the Association of Pacific Rim  Universities (APRU) Undergraduate Summer Program at Zhejiang University  in China.

ABSTRACT: Sustainability aims to achieve environmental and human well-being together. Quality of life is an approach commonly used to access human well-being. However, QoL metrics do not include environmental features, although QoL and sustainable development share common components to access well-being. Hence including the environmental factors, the QoL approach has been adopted to measure the social needs and sustainability at local level. Environmental QoL (QoLe) examines people –environment congruity. A high level of people-environment congruity most often corresponds to a high QoL. Sustainable communities are aiming for high quality of life by providing physical infrastructures necessary for objective living standards, and also through well-developed relationships with their environment, neighbours, and personal requirement necessary for subjective well-being. For subjective evaluation, an environmental feature is added in a pre-validated Perceived Residential Environmental Quality (PREQ) and neighbourhood attachment questionnaire. The research framework allows understanding and investigating whether sustainable development contributes towards a better QoL of the residents. The subjective and objective evaluations also allow exploring any misfit between objective environmental quality and satisfaction associated with them.

This paper takes a case study of the Ecovillage (an example of sustainable community) at Currumbin near Gold Coast in South East Queensland. Objective analysis of the residential quality illustrates high level of integration between natural and built environment which corroborates with respondents satisfaction of the environmental consideration in planning and design of buildings. However, residents are bothered by high reliance on cars to access basic services such as café, shops, schools which they think is contradictory to the very objectives of sustainable communities.

Keywords: Sustainable housing, Quality of Life (QoL), people-environment congruity

June 9, 2011 / usydney

2011 Presentation – Impact of sustainable house design on resource consumption.

2011 – The impact of sustainable house design and attitudes on resource consumption. Paper presented at the World Sustainable Building Conference, Helsinki Finland. 2011.

This presentation media is not available online. Pleas refer to the newer 2013 presentation instead.

ben SB11