5×4 Hayes Lane Project: learning from a grand design

  • YEAR
    Crawford, Robert
    Alphonso, Ralph
    2018 Conference Papers
    Architectural Science: Building and Energy
    Conference Papers


The 5×4 Hayes Lane Project was built in response to some of the current housing issues being exacerbated by a rapidly expanding global and urban population. One of its main aims was to minimise operational GHG emissions without compromising liveability or lifestyle. It appeared on Grand Designs Australia in 2015 as an exemplar of environmentally sensitive design. The design intent was to eliminate fossil fuel-based energy through omission of gas to site, a high performance envelope, geothermal heat pump, energy efficient appliances, a roof and wall mounted grid-connected solar power system, and the purchase of 100% renewable energy from the grid. With the building having now been occupied for three years, this paper presents the results of an operational performance evaluation to understand whether the project’s minimisation of GHG emissions goal has been realised. Operational energy-related GHG emissions were calculated based on energy use and generation data collected from energy bills and on-site meters. The study found that the 5×4 Hayes Lane Project would have resulted in net operational GHG emissions of 13.8 kg CO2e per day without the purchase of renewable energy from the grid. While this is lower than average Melbourne households, there is still room for improvement. The findings of this study provide an opportunity to re-evaluate current building design and performance and set more ambitious, but achievable energy use and GHG emissions targets for future housing. The 5×4 Hayes Lane Project demonstrates a different approach for addressing some of the challenges that come with a need for higher density housing. It shows how infill housing can be used to capitalise on under-utilised land with high amenity and liveability while at the same time achieving improved environmental performance. However, it also shows that a substantial reduction in operational GHG emissions is not necessarily easy and ongoing monitoring and improvements are often needed to achieve optimal performance.


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