Michael joined CSIRO in 1992 and is a senior experimental scientist in CSIRO’s Land and Water. He leads projects for industry and the Australian government, involving building energy efficiency, life cycle analysis and sustainable urban development.
Michael is currently undertaking analysis of house energy rating data obtained from the Universal Certificates (UC) that are created as part of the NatHERS energy efficiency compliance requirements for new houses contained within the National Construction Code. Almost 500,000 UC’s are in the database and this is allowing unprecedented insight into how new house designs are achieving their energy efficiency requirements. As part of this work Michael is creating interactive data visualisation dashboards that will allow users to explore the data geospatially to discover area specific trends and practices.
Recently completed projects include assessing data gathered as part of the Low Income Energy Efficiency Project that was done in collaboration with the South East Councils Climate Change Alliance. The project involved analysis of energy, temperature, humidity and house data from 320 Victorian households over three years and assessed the impact of energy improvements achieved through a series of physical improvements to the homes and behaviour change programs undertaken by the residents.
Other recent projects include leading the investigation into air infiltration rates of newly constructed houses across Australia. This ground breaking research was the first time a major study of infiltration rates had been undertaken in Australia. Around 140 houses were tested and analysed and the research results may lead to significant changes in how residential buildings are accessed for compliance with the National Construction Code.
Michael was joint leader of the Department of Industry funded Residential Building Energy Efficiency project which investigated the actual energy performance of 420 homes that were subject to the energy efficiency requirements of the BCA. This study was the most in depth investigation into residential energy efficiency that has been undertaken in Australia and data gathering and analysis has continued since the formal completion of the project with the collected data proving invaluable to a range of other research projects. The project team won the 2014 AIRAH Award for Research Excellence for this project.
Michael was project leader of the CSIRO funded Australian Zero Emission House project which developed Australia’s first low/zero emission home aimed at the mass housing market. The project also undertook a retrofit of an existing house to demonstrate how ZEH principles could be applied to the exiting stock.
Michael is the author of numerous book chapters, papers and reports on building energy efficiency and urban sustainability.