Meaningful applied research requires a cutting-edge facility

The Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC) is a multidisciplinary facility addressing the challenges of making built environments restorative. The exhibition space on the ground floor is open to the public during work hours.

The Building Insights Facility measures and tests the capabilities of flarge scale building elements, including their thermodynamic, hygroscopic and environmental performance.

While the primary function of the Building Insights Facility is testing façades, wall systems, and building envelope elements on the outside of environmental chambers, it does have flexibility in operation, enabling efficiency testing of HVAC systems, and performance testing of indoor environmental quality, thermal comfort and air distribution systems.

Download the BIF Infographic (PDF,  1,496 KB)

Please contact us if you would like to undertake research or commercial testing activities.

Two people looking at a screen in the SBRC Building Insights Facility (BIF)

As a net-zero energy building, the SBRC has access to a working micro-grid with standard and hybrid residential and commercial solar photovoltaic systems, spread across several buildings on the UOW Innovation Campus.

The micro-grid also includes small scale electrical and thermal energy storage, a plug and- play distributed generation connection panel, 30kVA rated fully regenerative arbitrary waveform generator and passive adjustable load bank, a DC fast charger for electric vehicles, and extensive building submeter and portable instrumentation.

 We have experience in the design and analysis of: 

  • Thermal systems
  • Power distribution
  • Power quality
  • Distributed generation
  • Renewable energy systems including solar PV, solar thermal, geothermal and wind
  • Building energy performance
  • Energy efficiency retrofit technologies
  • Phase change materials for thermal storage
  • Battery storage
  • Ground source heat pumps

Our micro-grid and energy laboratory allows for testing of electrical loads and generators in a variety of grid situations and includes facilities for measurement and analysis of electrical and electronic equipment.

We have electrical energy and power quality logging equipment suitable for use on switchboards, sub-circuits, and plug loads.

Our Thermofluids laboratory allows performance measurement of insulation and phase change materials.

Our portable building HVAC measurement equipment and thermographic cameras allow us to measure and assess the thermal performance of buildings services.

Our multi-function environment quality chamber and thermal emulators allow measurement and analysis of the thermal performance of devices and equipment. 

Our Ambient laboratory includes facilities for testing of roofing and roof-mounted solar devices.

We have experience in the design and analysis of:

  • Green roofs and green walls
  • Energy efficiency and Net zero energy buildings (NZEB)
  • Bushfire resilient buildings
  • Climate adaptation
  • Passive solar design
  • Building airtightness

Our unique hail impact test facility can test the resilience of products such as roofing materials, photovoltaic and thermal solar products, glazing, etc.

Our blower door equipment and thermographic cameras allow us to measure and assess the thermal performance of building envelopes.

The SBRC is a certified living building which means it supports the wellbeing of its occupants.  We research buildings and their occupants.

We have experience in the design and analysis of: 

  • Post occupancy evaluation
  • Adaptive thermal comfort
  • Cultural dimensions of environmental and sustainability issues
  • Dementia friendly architecture
  • Residential aged care accommodation design and operation

Our multifunction environment quality chamber allows for precise control of ambient conditions for testing and measurement of factors impacting human health, comfort and productivity.

Our portable test equipment allows measurement of air quality, thermal comfort conditions lighting and acoustics.

As a net zero water building, SBRC captures its rainwater in a 65000 litre tank for washing and flushing.  It treats all of its sewage through filtration and reed beds.

We have experience in the design and analysis of: 

  • Water quality, black and greywater systems
  • Net-zero water buildings
  • Solar membrane distillation
  • Energy in wastewater

Our laboratory is capable of measuring water quality and analysing wastewater.

We have experience in the design and analysis of: 

  • Sustainable construction materials
  • Building sustainable construction, retrofitting and upgrade
  • Building management systems
  • Circular economy

Our Building Elements Laboratory includes the capability for construction and testing of building facades and structures.

Our thermodynamics laboratory can test insulation properties and conduction properties of building materials.

We have experience in the design and analysis of: 

  • Building energy modelling and simulation
  • Building information modelling
  • Life cycle analysis
  • Decision support tools
  • Building rating tools

We also have expertise in:

  • Smart devices, grids and cities.
  • IoT devices
  • Energy data analysis.
  • Process modelling and optimization.
  • Techno-economic analysis.
  • We have access to extensive suites of software for modelling, simulation and analysis in a variety of fields including CFD, Energy Plus
  • LCA tools such as Gabi

Explore better futures in world-class spaces

SBRC Research Facilities Brochure (PDF, 2.7 MB) Partnering with us
Sodium Batteries and Solar Energy at SBRC