LLS3: Hivve transportable classrooms: evaluating the effectiveness of the PV-battery-HVAC control-ERV nexus system

Education (Schools) Living Laboratories

About the project

The project will explore the effectiveness of the existing automatic HVAC controls (Hivve IQ) in relation to PV generated/battery stored energy usage and the peak demand in the classrooms before and after the installation of a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) system as well as against equivalent adjacent transportable classrooms on each site.

Project titleHivve transportable classrooms: evaluating the effectiveness of the PV-battery-HVAC control-ERV nexus system
Project numberLLS3
Project locationAustralia
Lead partnerUniversity of Wollongong
ContactAssoc. Prof Georgios Kokogiannakis
Sustainable Buildings Research Centre
Project partnersSustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC), University of Wollongong
Project participantsHivve Sustainable Schools
Start date01/12/2021
End date30/06/2022
ARENA/i-Hub funding$35,268
Total project cost$129,950


The COVID-19 pandemic has required schools Australia wide to reconsider their classroom operational polices to ensure the safety of students utilising them. These policies require atypical operation to maintain sufficient ventilation, potentially impacting thermal comfort and increasing energy requirements. The demand for thermally comfortable teaching environments may be unable to be met in many schools due to their inability to provide sufficient mechanical ventilation without resorting to an open building envelope. Energy demand is anticipated to increase as classroom occupants seek some level of thermal comfort within an unsealed, inefficient envelope, using equipment designed to operate within a sealed building envelope. Such issues are expected to be particularly pertinent to off-grid transportable classrooms.


This project will utilise a previously established living lab at ACT schools and establish a new living lab via Sydney Catholic Schools. These living labs will be used to carry out testing and evaluation of existing HVAC systems, to examine how they perform given new COVID-19 ventilation policies enacted by both ACT and NSW education sectors. Retrofitted HRV units will be installed in one classroom at both Living Lab locations, to examine how these units may improve IAQ, energy efficiency, and comfort conditions in a classroom environment across differing climatic zones. The replicability of these evaluations will extend beyond the specific classrooms investigated.


Hivve transportable classrooms will be rigorously evaluated at both Living Lab host sites and provide the means to examine how the installation of a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) can provide mechanically ventilated fresh air, while maintaining thermal comfort in an energy-conscious manner that utilises the available renewable energy on site.

ACT Schools and Sydney Catholic Schools will be able to use the results to better understand the issues around providing a thermally comfortable and sufficiently ventilated classroom to students.    

Technical report on thermal performance of Hivve transportable classrooms utilising specific HRV units. Practical and cost-effective ways school facilities 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 the Living Labs located within ACT schools and Sydney Catholic Schools. Knowledge sharing activities through the Living Lab stakeholder groups.

Project Reports

LLS3 Technology Evaluation Report – Hivve Transportable HRV
LLS3 Lessons learnt report
LLS3 Sub – project knowledge sharing 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 on 18/01/2022