Australia’s first Zero Emission House

Australia’s first Zero Emission House

29 Apr 2010

Award-winning technology developed by La Trobe University has been incorporated in Australia’s first Zero Emission House.

Smart Energy System

The demonstration house is being unveiled today (10.30 am, Thursday, 29 April) by the CSIRO and two leading home builders, Henley and Delfin Lend Lease.  

The house is fitted with La Trobe University’s unique Home Energy Management System which tracks energy and water use and supply. Linked to an on-site weather station it can also factor in local weather conditions.

Using touch-screen displays as well as smart management and control technology, the system makes householders more aware of their consumption patterns. This empowers them to take action to reduce energy use, thereby minimising their household’s carbon footprint.

All energy and water use information that is displayed in the house on the touch-screen can also be accessed remotely via the internet or mobile phone.

La Trobe University is a partner in the Australian Zero Emission House (AusZEH). The project aims to provide Australian families with affordable and sustainable homes, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the housing industry, and spearhead technological solutions for possible export markets.

Developed under the Federal Government’s National Research Flagships program, the AusZEH is designed to consume 70 per cent less energy than conventional houses.  It will be occupied by a family for a year and monitored during that time for energy consumption, water use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Tim Brown describes the La Trobe Home Energy Management System as an important new step. ‘It was developed by University researchers and has been trialled in some of our buildings for the past two years.

‘We are delighted it is now taking the next step by helping to make a practical and affordable contribution to tackling climate change – one of the most urgent challenges of our time.’

Professor Jugdutt (Jack) Singh, Director of the La Trobe Centre for Technology Infusion, helped bring the project to fruition.

He says the innovative technology (patent pending) demonstrates the multi-domain expertise of Centre researchers. It also showcases the University's commitment to high-impact research with tangible outcomes for the community.

‘The smart system can analyse trends in energy use over time and make forecasts about costs and emission levels and also advise on ways to reduce them.

‘Home owners,’ says Professor Singh, ‘can then use this information to control lights, air-conditioning and other appliances – and they’ll have access to the controls whether they are at home, at work or travelling overseas.’

The project won last year’s EDN Innovation Award for ‘Best Application of Embedded Computers’. The awards recognise excellence in Australian and New Zealand electronics.

Chief researcher on the Home Energy Management System project, Aniruddha (Ani) Desai, says the technology is extremely flexible and cost effective and ideal for a wide range of energy monitoring and management applications.

‘The system integrates seamlessly with existing as well as next-generation hardware and control software. It can also be used to develop third party applications, and upgraded later as other technology comes on stream.’

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION about the La Trobe Home Energy Management System, please contact Professor Singh, Tel: 03 9479 5628 / 3382; Mob: 0411 476 976;  Email:

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CSIRO’s Australian Zero Emission House is a four-bedroom dwelling at Laurimar, 30 kilometres north of Melbourne.

It will be officially opened by the Hon. Richard Marles MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry, at  10.30am, Thursday 29 April 2010, at  40 Mable Street, Laurimar in Doreen, Victoria (Melways. Ref: 391 C5 -- approximately 50 minutes from Melbourne city.)

The house combines energy efficiency and demand reduction measures, on-site renewable energy supply and the Home Energy Management System in an effort to achieve a carbon neutral running cost without resorting to carbon offsets. Further demonstration homes, tailored to climatic regions, are planned for other parts of Australia.

The house was designed by Henley Property Group in consultation with CSIRO and Delfin Lend Lease, to an eight star energy efficiency building rating.

Full details:




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