The AusZEH demonstration house in Larimar at Doreen, Victoria

Zero Emission House

CSIRO’s Australian Zero Emission House project is working on ways to bring about a dramatic and significant reduction in greenhouse emissions in Australian housing to mitigate the adverse impacts of a changing climate.

  • 23 February 2010 | Updated 14 October 2011

AusZEH project

CSIRO is working with industry and government partners, through the Australian Zero Emission House (AusZEH) project, to assess ways greenhouse gas savings can be maximised in residential housing.

This project has several aims: to design, build and monitor a zero emission house (ZEH), specific for the Australian climate and lifestyle and to develop software tools to assist in low emission decision making for individual houses and existing housing stock across a community, city and regional level.

The AusZEH project has delivered a practical demonstration of a ZEH in Victoria, highlighting the many advantages of ZEH over traditional housing stock to the market, government and industry stakeholders.

This ZEH house has been designed specifically to be sold into the volume housing market by meeting the design requirements and budget of a typical middle income Australian family.

Carbon neutral house

The demonstration AusZEH is a detached residential building that produces enough ‘zero-emission’ renewable energy on-site to supply the operating energy needs of the household so that its net total CO2 or other greenhouse emissions is zero.

However, the 'embodied carbon' associated with the energy used in the manufacture of all the materials used in the house, including its construction, is calculated and neutralised via carbon offsets.

This approach ensures the AusZEH has a carbon-neutral life cycle footprint.

"The operating house achieves zero emission status through a combination of energy efficiency and demand reduction measures, on-site renewable energy supply and the application of a home energy management system; not through any carbon offset programs,"
Dr Greg Foliente


This house is expected to use up to 70 per cent less energy than a traditional home of similar size.

It features innovative materials and leading-edge energy-saving technologies.

  • a 6 kW solar panel array mounted on the roof for on-site electricity generation
  • optimised building envelope design specific for the Victorian climate
  • high-efficiency appliances
  • smart meters and an integrated energy management and monitoring system
  • high efficiency reverse cycle
  • heating and cooling system
  • high efficiency solar hot water system.

Project partners

The demonstration house has been built by the Henley Property Group in the Delfin Lend Lease Laurimar community in Victoria.

It will be occupied by tenants for a year and energy use and greenhouse gas emissions will be monitored over this time.

The AusZEH project involves the CSIRO Energy Transformed Flagship and a consortium of government, university and industry partners

Members of the AusZEH consortium include:

  • Delfin Lend Lease
  • Henley Property Group
  • La Trobe University
  • SP AusNet
  • Sustainability Victoria
  • Telstra
  • Victorian Department of Human Services.

Find out more about the Energy Transformed Flagship.