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Profile: Michael Ambrose, Senior Experimental Scientist

Michael joined CSIRO in 1992 and is a senior experimental scientist in CSIRO’s Land and Water. He leads projects for industry and the Australian government with a particular focus on residential building energy efficiency.

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Michael Ambrose

Michael has a Bachelor of Architecture from Deakin University as well as a Graduate Diploma in Building Project Management, also from Deakin.  Being one of the only researchers at CSIRO with an architecture background means that Michael brings a unique perspective to the research work he is involved in.

Currently Michael is developing data visualisation dashboards utilising the data that is gathered as part of the NatHERS Universal Certificate process.  An example of these visualisations is included in this newsletter, but it is hoped that soon far more sophisticated visualisations will be available.

Recent projects that Michael has led include assessing the data gathered as part of a Low Income Energy Efficiency Project.  In partnership with the South East Councils Climate Change Alliance, this project gathered energy data from 320 Victorian households over three years and assessed energy improvements achieved through a series of physical improvements to the homes and behaviour change programs undertaken by the residents.

Michael was also joint leader of the Department of Industry funded Residential Building Energy Efficiency project which investigated the actual energy performance of 420 homes that were subject to the energy efficiency requirements of the BCA. This study was the most in depth investigation into residential energy efficiency that has been undertaken in Australia and data gathering and analysis has continued since the formal completion of the project with the collected data proving invaluable to a range of other research projects.

Other projects include leading the investigation into air infiltration rates of newly constructed houses across Australia.  This ground breaking research was the first time a major study of infiltration rates had been undertaken in Australia.  Around 140 houses were tested and analysed and the research results may lead to significant changes in how residential buildings are accessed for compliance with the National Construction Code.

Michael was project leader of the CSIRO funded Australian Zero Emission House project which developed Australia’s first low/zero emission home aimed at the mass housing market.  The project also undertook a retrofit of an existing house to demonstrate how ZEH principles could be applied to the exiting stock.

Michael was project leader of the Your Development project which created a web-based portal for the delivery of sustainability guidelines for urban developers, planners, utility providers and government departments within Australia and lead author of Sustainable Subdivisions: Energy Efficient Design, a key industry report for Australian urban developers targeting energy efficiency.

Michael is the author of numerous book chapters, papers and reports on building energy efficiency and urban sustainability.  When not at work, Michael enjoys doing camping and cycling trips with his wife Gillian and their three daughters Jess, Naomi and Megan.