Fremantle houses at centre of sustainable LIVING LABS housing study

Josh’s House has just launch the first video in the fascinating new series on sustainable housing. Ten suburban homes around Fremantle have been chosen to participate in a two-year research project conducted by Curtin University and the CRC for Low Carbon Living.

Each household has bought into the idea of reducing its environmental footprint in some way or another, be it with solar panels on the roof, water tanks collecting rain or low energy lighting and appliances.

The question they are looking to answer is if provided with the right information and guidance will these householders go even further to reduce their energy and water consumption and lower their carbon footprint? Basically, is our behaviour the number one factor in living more sustainably? Can simple lifestyle changes reduce our bills, make our homes more comfortable and save us money?

That’s what LIVING LABS is looking to find out

The participating households are a mix of old and new homes with different occupant profiles. There’s a combination of high performance homes and more conventional houses that meet the minimum 6 Star building code thermal performance requirement. There’s also some renovated dwellings. Monitoring equipment has been installed in each house to record and provide feedback on electricity, gas and water usage, internal temperature, as well as rainwater use and solar electricity production.

The research is being led by Curtin University PhD Candidate Christine Eon and Curtin Research Fellow Josh Byrne, who is well known for his role on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia program.

“These days our homes are full of energy efficient appliances, water saving fixtures and solar power is common place, so many people think they’re already doing their bit.” Says Byrne. “On top of that, bills are received so infrequently that people lose the connection between their actions and patterns of consumption. Here, we’re testing the impact of real-time data feedback, as well as other methods to help people go further if that’s what they want to do. It’s a fascinating real-life study spanning design, technology and human behaviour and attitudes and there’s a lot that we can all learn from it.”

You can follow the results of the study via a four-episode video series produced by Fremantle production company VAM Media, in conjunction with Josh Byrne & Associates as part of the award winning Josh’s House project. The series will be available from along with factsheets and other information aimed at helping people maximise their house performance through good design and management. CHeck it out 

LIVING LABS Photo with graphic 1

About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
City of Fremantle Mayor

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