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The CRC for Low Carbon Living's research leveraged world class expertise from six universities and CSIRO as well as the wealth of knowledge provided by all its participants. The research built on multidisciplinary expertise, existing technology development, social research and national benchmark software tools.

While international research suggests some possible pathways for carbon reduction in the built environment, the CRCLCL was particularly necessary for discovering the underlying principles of low carbon living in the Australian context, addressing the unique requirements of the Australian climate, construction practices, demographics and policy environment.

The CRCLCL built expertise in sustainable urban design, solar energy, energy efficiency, decision support software and community engagement for the built environment. The UN Environment Program recognised the world leading capability of the CRCLCL team and the value of its research, and transfered the results internationally.

The CRCLCL had three research programs, reflecting the three pivotal "bridges" to be crossed in order to deliver a low carbon built environment.

Program 1: Integrated Building Systems

Program 2: Low Carbon Precincts

Program 3: Engaged Communities

Each program consisted of one or more of the CRCLCL's eight Impact Pathways, representing specific areas in which the CRCLCL aimed to transform the low carbon built environment.