Legacy Living Lab

Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute with Fleetwood Building Solutions

The Legacy Living Lab (L3) is a high-quality circular economy building designed for disassembly and reuse. Specifically, L3 is a modular building that serves as an advanced research facility to study building performance and energy efficiency. As a modular building, it was built off-site and moved on-site in just eight hours, with minimal disruption to the neighbours. Divided into two floors, L3 has an area of 250 m2. L3 is owned and managed by Curtin University and built with the contribution of 26 industry partners.

L3 was designed and built with a high ratio of reused materials. Old modular frames that were unneeded and would have otherwise been sent to recycle – a practice that, although eco-friendly, uses a high amount of energy – were put to use. Similarly, the carpet is in its second life, as it was previously assembled in an unused building.

The L3 features several innovative features. For example, it was built to be entirely movable, leaving no waste behind. To do so, L3 is built as an eight-module prefabricated and lightweight building, and instead of 20 tons of concrete foundations, it sits on only 735 kilograms of steel micro-pile foundations. Further, L3 is entirely disassemblable. That means that once the building has been moved, it can easily be redesigned in other shapes, attach external modules, expanded or downsized. Disassemblability will also be valuable when the building reaches its end of life, as the components will be easy to separate, and many will be reused in other buildings.

The building features smart-home devices, such as automatic blinds, circadian rhythm lights, and many sensing devices, such as air quality (TVOC, CO2, PM2.5 and humidity), temperature, lighting, and vibration. There are currently a group of nine electrical engineering Master students and an upcoming PhD student researching creating a symbiosis between all of these smart-home elements.

Regarding its thermal efficiency, L3 is highly insulated and fully electrified (no gas in its appliances). In combination with the high-quality solar panels, L3’s carbon footprint is minimal compared to the footprint of traditional buildings.

Photography by Roberto Minunno.


The Legacy Living Lab was developed with the support of:
DevelopmentWA, Fleetwood Building Solutions, Colorbond, Quantify, Weathertex, Delos, Schneider Electric, Jason Windows, Armstrong Flooring, Acufelt, Infinite Energy, Metforce, Intelligent Home, Enware, RWC, Interface, Proform, Brajkovich, Stramit, Ludlow Timber, ForestOne, ITI, Verosol, Somfy, OPproperties, DethridgeGroves.