Healthcare Living Laboratories

About the project

The Warrigal Shell Cove i-Hub Living Laboratory will be a world class aged care home for independent evaluation of the benefits of emerging HVAC&R, renewable energy and enabling technologies.

Project title Healthcare Living Laboratories: Warrigal Aged Care establishment and operation
Project number LLHC2
Project location Wollongong
Lead partner University of Wollongong
Contact Prof. Paul Cooper
Sustainable Buildings Research Centre
Project partners Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC)
University of Wollongong
Project participants Warrigal
Start date 01/07/2019
End date 30/06/2022
ARENA/i-Hub funding $291,880
Total project cost $773,075


The aged care sector alone consumes about 8 PJ of energy in Australia each year. As Australia’s population ages, the demand for aged care services is forecasted to increase in the coming years. Energy consumption in aged care is dominated by space heating and cooling, hot water services and lighting. There is a need to understand and manage daily and seasonal energy demand profiles for different services, and the impact these have on the quality of the living environment for older people re energy costs, the local and national grid, and greenhouse gas emissions.


This project will directly address the above challenges by the establishment of a Living Laboratory in this residential aged care home, to provide vital in-situ testing infrastructure that delivers independent validation of supplier claims and sharing of application specific implementation knowledge. This home will have sufficient monitoring systems and evaluation tools, e.g. Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) tools, to facilitate rigorous benchmarking and extrapolation of the cost/benefit of interventions throughout the aged care sector and for a range of Australian climates, occupancy types, etc. Industry will be invited to submit expressions of interest for product testing suitable for this particular Living Laboratory.


Warrigal Shell Cove Living Laboratory & Testing will provide the means by which renewable energy and enabling technologies may be independently and rigorously evaluated.
Technical reports on at least 2 tested technologies in first two years.
Establishment of a waiting list for technology testing.
Practical and cost-effective ways residential aged care homes can achieve a 30%+ reduction in energy demand/consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, through the use of new technologies relating to HVAC control, demand management, grid interoperability and renewable energy.

Additional impact

More detailed baseline metrics for energy consumption, demand and renewable energy specific to this home and this aged care provider.
Knowledge sharing activities through the “Renewable Energy Knowledge Sharing Task-Group for Healthcare”, and development of the “Renewable Energy and Enabling Technology and Services Roadmap for Aged Care”.

Project reports

LLHC2 Technology Evaluation report
LLHC2 Lessons Learnt Report
LLHC2 Knowledge Sharing Report
Warrigal Shell Cove Living Laboratory Prospectus
LLHC2 Technical Report: Warrigal Residential Care Home – Monitoring and Baseline Data Analysis V3.0
LLHC2 Technology Evaluation Report – Flow Power: Electricity Spot Price Trading
LLHC2 M6 Lessons Learnt Report

Evaluation Framework

All sub-projects within i-Hub are evaluated as part of the ongoing i-Hub project management process. Evaluation is completed by the project manager and reviewed by the Activity Leaders Group and i-Hub Steering Committee. Please click here to read the Evaluation Framework.

Created 31/1/2020