CRCLCL UNSW Node of Excellence in High Performance Architecture

A key legacy of the CRC for Low Cabon Living (CRCLCL) will be the development of a strong national capability for collaborative research in low cabron built environments. As part of the Transition Plan for the CRCLCL, it has established five Nodes of Excellence based on its five host universities.

The CRCLCL UNSW Node of Excellence in High Performance Architecture (HPA) will develop UNSW's strengths in high performance buildings and cities, aiming to advance research excellence in this area. The UNSW Node consists of academic staff and higher degree research students from UNSW Faculties of Built Environment, Engineering, Science and Business. The UNSW Node Government and Industry Steering Committee consists of senior management and representatives from UrbanGrowth NSW, City of Sydney, Brookfield Multiplex, AECOM, HASSELL, CSR, PIDCOCK - Arhitecture + Sustainability, etc.

The UNSW Node has identified six major research areas on which to focus: Inhabitants, Integrated Design, Materials, Emerging Technology, Urban Design, and Policy. The key themes covered within each of these research areas can be seen in the diagram below.

CRCLCL Node Themes






Government and Industry Steering Committee

CRCLCL Node Gov Logos

CRCLCL Node SteeringCom

UNSW Academic Representatives

Academic Representatives and Supervisors:

Scientia Professor Deo Prasad, CRC for Low Carbon Living
Emeritus Professor Denny McGeorge, CRC for Low Carbon Living
A/Professor Francesco Fiorito, UNSW Built Environment
Dr Philip Oldfield, UNSW Built Environment
Dr Paul Osmond, UNSW Built Environment
Professor Alan Peters, UNSW Built Environment
Professor Mat Santamouris, UNSW Built Environment
Professor Susan Thompson, UNSW Built Environment
Dr Peter William, UNSW Built Environment
Dr Anna Bruce, UNSW Engineering
Dr Stephen Foster, UNSW Engineering
A/Professor Iain Macgill, UNSW Engineering
A/Professor Alistair Sproul, UNSW Engineering
Professor Richard Stuetz, UNSW Engineering
A/Professor Thomas Wiedmann, UNSW Engineering
Dr Uttra Benton, UNSW Science
Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla, UNSW Science
Professor Karin Sanders, UNSW Business

CRCLCL UNSW Node Leader: Dr Lan Ding, UNSW Built Environment 

UNSW Node Student Projects

Adriana Sanchez (PhD candidate)

Supervisors: Professor Deo Prasad and Dr Paul Osmond; Jeroen van der Heijden (ANU)

Research Topic: Urban sustainable resilience: a policy framework

Australia is likely to face significant challenges in the future that will test the resilience of its cities. In response to this widely accepted threat leading state and city governments are developing and implementing sustainability and resilience policies. However, there is a lack of proactive evidence-based analysis into the available options and their outcomes as well as indicators of success. Without such analysis it is difficult to guage progress towards set goals, to improve effective policy development and implementation and to create an active learning culture that can efficiently and effectively tackle future challenges. This could have a significant impact on the future of Australian cities, causing social, economic and environmental loss. This research will (a) develop a sustainable resilience policy framework and a detailed resilience policy development and implementation framework, (b) define best practice in urban sustainable resilience policy by applying the framework to a series of case studies, (c) define comparators that allow evaluation of this type of policy across case studies and to compare to current practices through drivers, success factors and gap analysis, and (d) develop a practical evaluation and development framework for more effective polcy making.


Carlos Bartesaghi Koc (PhD candidate) 

Supervisors: Dr Paul Osmond, Professor Alan Peters; Co-supervisor: Dr Matthias Irger

Research Topic: Assessing the thermal performance of green infrastructure on urban microclimate

This research aims to explore and determine the most effective composition, amount and arrangement of green infrastructure (GI) necessary to provide a maximum thermal cooling on urban microclimate. Also, to propose a methodological framework for a more precise and accurate assessment of the thermal performance of GI using a combination of airborne remote sensing, ground monitoring and predictive modelling (statistical analysis). The proposed GIS-based workflow will be tested and validated in Sydney and Melbourne as case studies. The findings and outcomes of this study will comprise a set of guidelines and recommendations to assist/inform urban planners and practitioners on best policies, strategies and interventions for delivering cooler neighbourhoods.


William Craft (MRes candidate)

Supervisors: Dr Lan Ding, Scientia Professor Deo Prasad; Co-supervisors: A/Professor Lester Partridge (AECOM), Professor Dennis Else (Brookfield Multiplex)

Research Topic: Development of regenerative design principles for building retrofits

This research will explore how the concept of regeneration can be applied specifically to building retrofits. By considering the key interactions between physical, human and natural systems, a set of regenerative design principles will be proposed for building retrofits. These principles emphasise how an energy efficient building retrofit could also improve occupant health and wellbeing, and restore and enhance local ecosystems. Each principle will be explained further by clearly defining its objective, identifying potential design strategies and considerations for implementation, and highlighting its connections to the other principles. A detailed example will then be presented to demonstrate the potential of each of these principles as a means of shifting the way designers think about building retrofits. By promoting the positive interactions a building can have with its surrounding systems, the focus of a building retrofit can now be to support, maintain and enhance a co-partnered relationship between human and natural systems within the built environment.


Claudia Aurelio Diaz Sandoval (PhD candidate)

Supervisors: Dr Paul Osmond and Dr Ivan Cole

Research Topic: Potential of Building Envelope Evaporative Cooling with Rainwater, for Thermal and Environmental Performance of Buildings and Cities in the Humid Tropics

This research explores the possibilities of harnessing rainwater for building surface cooling with a holistic approach (not only focused on thermal and energy performance), integrating criteria from different fields (passive architecture, urban climatology, industrial ecology, etc.) to verify its relevance as an integral strategy for disparate problems of cities in the humid tropics (overheating, flooding, environmental degradation, etc.). It aims to quantify evaporation rates on building surfaces under hot humid climates and amounts of water consumed by evaporative cooling, to estimate reductions on heat loads, demand for rainwater and other impacts of this strategy on the energy and water balance of cities and adjacent natural environments.


Samin Marzban (PhD candidate) 

Supervisors: Dr Lan Ding and A/Professor Francesco Fiorito

Research Topic: An evolutionary approach to single-sided ventilated facade design

This study aims to reduce the carbon emission of multi-story residential buildings in Australian market by optimizing façade design. Targeting to minimize cooling loads, mechanical ventilation will be substituted by single-sided natural ventilation for cooling purposes meanwhile indoor environments will be improved and appropriate visual comfort will be provided. A Genetic Algorithm (GA) optimization method is developed to determine a set of optimal solutions of façade design for the performance targets of ventilation efficiency, energy consumption, thermal and visual comfort. The expected research outcomes will improve low carbon façade design of residential buildings while reducing cooling cost for the construction industry and energy cost for the consumers.



Mike Roberts (PhD candidate) 

Supervisors: Dr Anna Bruce, Associate Professor Iain MacGill 

Research Topic: Opportunities for increasing deployment of photovoltaics on multi-unit residential buildings in Australia

This project explores the scale and nature of the opportunity for deploying solar photovoltaics (PV) on Australian apartment buildings, supplying common property and household loads. It aims to address the multiple barriers that have caused multi-unit buildings to lag behind the rest of the residential sector in transitioning to distributed energy. The scale and spatial distribution of the rooftop PV opportunity will be examined using GIS mapping of urban centres. Modelling of embedded networks with PV and storage will be used to assess the distribution of costs, risks and benefits under a range of technical, economic, organisational and regulatory arrangements. The findings of the research will be used to create a set of recommendations for policy development as well as guidelines to assist developers, apartment owners and occupants to benefit from the deployment of renewable energy and storage on their buildings.


CRCLCL Node Heriyanto

Heriyanto Heriyanto (PhD candidate) 

Supervisors: Professor Venna Sahajwalla; Co-supervisor: Dr Farshid Pahlevani

Research Topic: Glass recycling for waste reduction in the built envirnoment 

The research aims to find an alternative method to utilise waste glasses as raw materials in building environment. Attempt to synthesis products at low and high temperature will be conducted. For high temperature application, a calcium silicate compound, namely wollastonite is made from high content of SiO2 in waste glasses and CaCO3 from seashells. The wollastonite produced will serve as powder filler in ceramics to impart strength, reduce shrinkage and improve fire resistant property. For low temperature application, polymeric glass composite panels are produced. The panels are made without the need to re-melt the glasses and thus, it reduces the necessity of using the same type of glasses to produce recycled products. The polymeric glass composite panels will be used for benchtop application and its mechanical properties will be tested and compared with that of commercial granite, marble, Caesar stone and concrete countertop existing in the market. The finding and outcomes of this study will hopefully reduce the waste glasses goes into the landfill and allow new business opportunity.

Heriyanto research image


Sardar Masud Karim (PhD candidate) 

Supervisors: Professor Susan Thompson, Dr Peter Williams 

Research Topic: Co-benefits of low carbon policies in the built environment: An Australian investigation into local government co-benefits policies

Climate change mitigation policies and measures have a range of additional benefits (also called ‘co-benefits’) which can be substantial. In transport, household energy and electricity generation sectors, these measures have significant environmental, health and social benefits which in turn, have associated economic benefits. However, in spite of the substantial evidence for co-benefits, the policy impact of the co-benefits concept has been limited and co-benefits just remain at the rhetorical or discourse levels, even though their inclusion may substantially influence the outcomes of decision making processes. In Australia, co-benefits have rarely entered policy discourse and have so far failed to gain traction in climate change-related policy debates. This is partly due to the dominant perception about the difficulties associated with identifying, quantifying and incorporating co-benefits into decision-making frameworks. There is also limited understanding on the part of policy-makers about the profound policy implications of a ‘co-benefits approach’ as a paradigm that can address multiple policy goals, including addressing climate change impacts, achieving sustainable development, and enhancing health, wellbeing and liveability.

This research intends to address this gap by contributing to current understanding of the ‘co-benefits approach’ in Australian local government as a means of integrating climate concerns into local development. The research is closely related to the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL)’s Project RP2028: Development & Trial of a Co-benefits Calculator and is being partially funded by CRCLCL. The purpose of this research is to investigate the adoption of co-benefits in the Australian local government policy context – particularly in planning of the built environment – in order to understand councils’ perception and use of co-benefits. The investigation will evolve a systematic understanding of Australian local government policy context to provide insight and enable better understandings of how to plan, generate and purposively promote co-benefits in planning urban built environments.

Sardar research framework


Siliang Yang

Siliang Yang (PhD candidate) 

Supervisors: A/Professor Francesco Fiorito, Scientia Professor Deo Prasad 

Research Topic: Studies on optimal application of photovoltaic system for commercial buildings in Australia



Samiul Amin

Samiul Amin (PhD candidate) 

Supervisors: A/Professor Alistair, Dr Anna Bruce 

Research Topic: Design strategies and performance analysis for net-zero high-rise residential buildings in Australia


Contact Us

Dr Lan Ding, UNSW Built Environment

Telephone: +61 2 9385 5593



Emeritus Professor Denny McGeorge, CRC for Low Carbon Living

Telephone: +61 2 9385 0393