Solar panels and wind farms

Building Efficiency

Leveraging advances of nanoscience in efficient design and operation of low-carbon building

Enabling high-performing and energy-efficient buildings for transitioning toward decarbonized energy system by deploying nano-enabled technologies to reduce consumption of resources, produce green energy and optimise the building operation. 

Energy consumption in the building sector accounts for 31% of final energy demand globally. Improving energy efficiency offers a great opportunity to navigate toward a decarbonised built environment via substantial reduction in our overall emission, with benefits in reduced energy consumption and costs. 

Sustainable buildings require to be designed for efficiency (reducing consumption), built to contribute (producing energy or resources) and smartly operated.
Arianna Brambilla

Our approach

There are tremendous opportunities to improve efficiencies in the buildings. However, improving the performance should not compromise the needs of occupants. This necessitates high level engineering design and smart operation technologies. Through the integration of a wide range of novel techniques, researchers in this cluster are spearheading the effort to improve performance of the building through innovation in design, materials and efficient systems.

Research areas

  • Building energy performance
  • Data-centric approaches to analyse and predict the end-user energy consumption
  • Energy storage Systems, including efficient hydrogen storage material
  • Smart windows
  • Passive ventilation technologies
  • Climate change adaptation and mitigation in energy-efficient building design
  • Smarter regulation of emerging energy technologies

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Building Efficiency cluster of the Smart Sustainable Building Network is actively working towards three of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

UN Sustainable Development Goal 7
UN Sustainable Development Goal 15
UN Sustainable Development Goal 13

Prof Yuan Chen, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Dr Arianna Brambilla, School of Architecture, Design and Planning, Regenerative Design

A/Prof Yixiang Gan, School of Civil Engineering, Thermal energy storage, phase change materials, energy efficient building materials

A/Prof Stefano Palomba, School of Physics

A/Prof Jin Ma, School of Electrical & Information Engineering, Integrated building energy management system, energy consumption forecast, energy efficiency

Prof Kondo-Francois Aguey-Zinsou, School of Chemistry

Prof David McKenzie, Faculty of Science, Spectral converting windows & Vacuum insulated glazing

Prof Chengwang Lei, School of Civil Engineering, Natural ventilation, solar chimney, water wall, passive cooling

Prof Albert Zomaya, School of Computer Science, ML approaches for end-to-end system development in Net-Zero Energy Buildings

Dr Wei Li, School of Computer Science, Sustainable computing, online decision making, edge computing, and Internet of Things

Prof Cameron Kepert, School of Chemistry, Development of efficient hydrogen storage materials and battery electrode materials

A/Prof Nicholas Lawson, School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, Aerodynamics, fluid flow measurement, optical flow diagnostics

Dr Aysu Kuru, School of Architecture, Design and Planning

Dr Fengji Luo, School of Civil Engineering, Building energy optimisation, building-to-grid integration, demand response

A/Prof Penelope Crossley, Sydney Law School, Regulation of renewable energy, energy storage and emerging technologies

Dr Eugenia Gasparri, School of Architecture, Design and Planning, Sustainable construction, timber buildings, modular facades, building envelopes, prefabrication 

Yuan Chen

  • Room 491, Level 2 Cnr Shepherd and Lander Streets Chemical Engineering J01

Arianna Brambilla

Lecturer - Architectural Technology
  • Room 325 Wilkinson G04