Learn about the exciting, innovative and cutting edge research projects conducted by the High Performance Architecture research cluster


National Heat Vulnerability Observatory - Smart and Cool Places Phase 1

Smart Places Acceleration Program: “Smart places integrate technologies into the built environment to capture information on the asset or local environment. Analysing this data helps communities and governments make better, evidence-based decisions about how to improve the productivity, liveability and resilience of cities, towns and communities.”


Energy Efficiency Training and Information Project: Commercial Buildings

Existing buildings need to be retrofitted to adapt to global climate change, and their energy efficiency must be improved to avoid vulnerability to volatility in the energy market. Almost 80% of 2050 buildings already exist today, and we must prioritise he efficiency of existing buildings.

Evidence based interventions for urban cooling

Local climate is interconnected to the rest of the climate system, and therefore heat mitigation must be part of interconnected solutions.


Nanotechnology-based thermochromic materials for adaptive building envelope

This project aims to investigate the viability of using different types of non-dye nanoscale thermochromic coatings as alternatives to their dye-based counterparts for the building application.

Study on the Cool Roofs Mitigation Potential in Australia

A cool roof has been designed to stay cool in the sun by reflecting most sunlight and retaining the least heat, unlike a conventional solar absorptive roof.


Advanced hybrid ventilation systems for schools

This study examined the proper advanced hybrid ventilation technologies to improve indoor air quality, achieve thermal comfort conditions, and reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.

EEDMN BASIX - Mapping the decision-making processes 

This project maps the decision-making process of builders, developers and key actors that influence builders to meet or exceed the minimum BASIX requirements and to identify intervention options.

Menangle Park

This project performs analysis of Menangle Park precinct’s existing and future scenarios to evaluate the effectiveness of different heat mitigation strategies.

Preliminary design of a smart climatic road in Phillip St Parramatta 

This study aims to pre-design and optimise a smart climatic street (Philip St) in Parramatta, exhibiting high climatic, environmental and energy performance.

Sydney's third city

This study analyses the distribution of climatic parameters, ambient temperature, wind speed, surface temperature, outdoor thermal comfort in the 14 different precincts for future climate in 2050.

Urban cooling analysis services 

This project analyses the present and future climate in the South Creek catchment of Westland Park City, evaluating its impact on energy, peak electricity demand and health.


Driving increase utilisation of cool roofs

This project develops evidence-based cool roof design and cost-benefit calculation resources, focused on large-footprint buildings and specifically tuned to the needs of Australian industry.

Improving the present and future climate and microclimate in the City o

The present study is aiming to analyse the problem of urban overheating in the City of Parramatta Local Government Area (LGA), evaluate its impact on energy, peak electricity demand and health and propose quantified mitigation policies to counterbalance the overheating problem.

UHI-DS - Microclimate and urban heat island mitigation

This project develops a robust microclimate and urban heat island mitigation decision-support tool that bridges the gap between research on urban microclimates and its practical application.

Validating and improving the BASIX Energy Assessment Tool - Phase 2 

The BASIX Project (Phase 2) investigates the post-occupancy energy performance of both BASIX and non-BASIX dwellings in NSW to inform government policy.


Alice Springs heat mitigation study

This project investigates the characteristics of the local climate in the CBD area of Alice Springs NT and identifies hot spots in the city to develop and evaluate appropriate local climate mitigation scenarios.

Heat mitigation program: Darwin, Northern Territory (2017)

Urban heat island (UHI) effect in which urban areas exhibit higher temperatures than the surrounding rural or suburban areas is well documented in hundreds of cities around the world including major cities in Australia.

Validating and improving the BASIX Energy Assessment Tool

This project carries out post-occupancy investigations of new residential buildings in NSW. It compares BASIX modelled results to monitoring data in real-life environments and analyse discrepancies. 


An investigation into the impact of the urban heat

This joint research collaborates with the Jiao Tang University, investigating the impact of the urban heat island on energy consumption and environmental quality of buildings in Sydney and Shanghai.

Closing the Loop

Closing the loop connects the wealth of evidence for high performance office buildings with front end decision makers through the development of industry decision-making tools and guidelines.

Urban micro climates

This cross-disciplinary, multi-scale project targets cost-effective policy, planning, design and management strategies to mitigate urban heat islands in three Australian cities. 

Other projects

Development of an immersive 3D virtual environment

This project investigates an immersive 3D virtual platform and determines ways to improve the undergraduate and graduate built environment curriculum using such a platform. 

UNSW node of excellence in high performance architecture

This project develops the strength of UNSW in high performance buildings and cities, aiming to achieve research excellence in this area. 

Urban Ecology Renewal Investigation Project 

The UERI Project is conducting in-depth desktop research and stakeholder consultation to develop an evidence-based case for embedding urban ecology into decision making.