Chief Investigators

Prof. Josh Byrne  (Curtin University)
Prof. Peter Newman  (Curtin University)

Purpose of project

Net zero precincts (NZP) provide high-quality residential or industrial environments and simultaneously help to meet Australia’s international commitments to tackle climate change and other sustainability goals. This project aims to enable a step-change in decarbonisation efforts of Australian precincts.

Precinct-level decarbonisation of co-located building stock of varying ages and types is a complex yet urgent societal challenge owing to the potential for significant ‘wins’ in energy performance and reduced dependence on fossil fuels. Enabling precinct decarbonisation will require collaboration between researchers, industry sectors, government owners, and facilities managers.

The NZP project is focusing on solving the problem of how we integrate the right design, the right technologies and the right governance to enable net zero to work effectively in different urban fabrics. This is a complex and urgent challenge given precincts are of sufficient size to share zero-carbon resources such as solar, batteries, electric vehicles and smart integration systems. However, precincts do not yet have well-developed practices for embracing such technologies, nor managing local energy governance at this scale. Net zero ambitions therefore flounder through breakdowns between high-level institutional leadership and on-the-ground planning, deficits in technical understanding by occupants, and a lack of inclusive planning and stakeholder engagement. 


Impact of project

NZPs are an effective and efficient geographic scale for accelerating urban decarbonisation with, for example, distributed energy systems, solar, batteries and electric vehicles. The precinct scale is small enough to innovate and replicate quickly and big enough to achieve economies of scale and leverage meaningful investment and test novel governance and commercial models.   

All partners are involved in real-world projects to accelerate decarbonisation through Net Zero Precinct delivery.   

The project will give policy makers, developers and citizens the opportunity to connect across multiple domains (energy, buildings, mobility, water etc.) to develop innovative technologies and governance arrangements to support net zero transitions. 

The project outcomes will be 

  • Knowledge from precinct case studies arising from ‘test and trial’ activities and evidence based outcomes
  • Policy and regulation commentary on how to enable scaling of NZP innovations
  • A suite of high impact communications materials, videos, factsheets and web content.
Fugure 2 NZP

Media release

NZP in the news


Project partners – Research

Project partners – Industry

Curtin’s support includes the CISCO Curtin Centre for Future Networks 

Project code



In progress


Net Zero Precincts


Drew Wiseham,  Research
Program Manager RACE for Business  –

Maryanne Cantwell, Business Development Manager –

Earlier Research

Related projects

Page last updated 14 March 2024