Helping to reduce carbon emissions and high levels of energy waste in residential apartment blocks is the focus of a State Government grant to Griffith University and Sandgate-based company, Airtime Holdings Pty Ltd in collaboration with Wattblock.

The project has been awarded $37,000 under the State Government’s Advance Queensland Knowledge Transfer Partnerships program which enables businesses to partner with universities to engage graduates on innovative projects.

DrPrasadKaparaju from the Griffith School of Engineering said the funding will lead to the development of a suite of online calculators which owners, strata managers and building managers can use to identify where and how they reduce carbon emissions and save money.

“The United Nations is calling for carbon emissions from all buildings to be reduced by 50% to abate the effects of climate change,” Dr Kaparaju said.

“This can be promoted through the provision of a low-cost, energy analytics reports specific to individual strata buildings which suggest the best ways to save energy including LED lighting, solar PV, solar thermal hot water, and power factor correction.

“But currently, an energy audit for a large high-rise building can cost as much as $40,000.

“We hope that with these online calculators the cost would be reduced to as little as $400.”

Airtime is an environment engineering consultancy based in Sandgate, founded by Mr Scott Witheridge. Bachelor of Environmental Management graduate Morgan Warnock will be employed to undertake research and develop the online calculators.

“Airtime and Wattblock want to harness the power of big data to drive breakthrough reductions in carbon emissions for the smart cities of the future,” Mr Witheridge said.

“By 2050, 75% of the Australian population will live in high density residential apartment buildings and Brisbane, Gold Coast and parts of the Sunshine Coast will be key areas.

“It’s vitally important that energy saving audits are readily accessible and affordable.”