Sustainable innovation for Queensland's housing design : a case study

Michael Johnston, Mirko Guaralda, Sukanlaya Sawang

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This research provides an assessment tool that assists the selection process of sustainability in detached suburban housing. It investigates the implications of using different design and construction methods including architecturally designed houses, developer housing and prefabricated houses. The study simulates one example of the three types of houses that have been chosen to fulfil a real client brief on a real site on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland Australia. Criteria for sustainability assessment are formulated based on literature reviews, exemplar designs and similar research projects for which the houses can be adequately evaluated. This criterion covers aspects including energy use, materials and thermal performance. The data is collected using computer models and sustainability assessment software to compare and draw conclusions on the success of each house.

Our study indicates that architecturally designed housing with prefabricated building techniques are a better alternative to generic developer style housing. Our research provides an insight into the implications of three key elements of sustainability including energy use, materials and thermal performance. Designers, builders, developers and home-buyers are given an insight into some options currently available on the housing market and how the choices made during early design stages can provide a more positive environmental impact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-31
Number of pages21
JournalAustralasian Journal of Construction Economics and Building
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Australasian Journal of Construction Economics and Building 2014. © 2014 Michael Johnston et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) License
(, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.


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