About the Project

In 2020, University of Wollongong were contracted by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER) to design and undertake a national survey of facilities managers and contractors who are responsible for the management, repair and maintenance of commercial office buildings.

The survey aimed to capture the experiences of those working on the ground and in the plantroom, to better understand how commercial office buildings are managed and maintained in Australia.

This segment of the commercial buildings sector is notoriously complex. Large-scale data on how ‘mid-tier’ commercial office buildings are managed and maintained has been limited to date. The survey is a first step in filling this gap. It will enable policymakers and the industry to understand the issues the sector faces, and formulate a range of geographically-contextual policy responses to deliver a more robust and resilient commercial building stock.

Project Partners

This project is led by researchers at University of Wollongong, on behalf of the Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER).

UOW researchers worked in partnership with the following professional organisations, to deliver the largest HVAC industry survey undertaken to date.


The UOW team includes engineers and social scientists working at the leading edge of global research in the design, delivery, and governance of sustainable built environments.

This unique team brings together quantitative and qualitative expertise in a number of related areas, including the performance of Australia’s existing building stock, urban energy transitions, urban governance, and how energy use intersects with the everyday practices, routines and behaviours of building users.

Chantell Carr

Dr Chantel Carr

Chantel Carr is a researcher in the Australian Centre for Culture, Environment, Society and Space (ACCESS) at UOW. She specialises in the work of skilled trades, particularly in the area of repair and maintenance. Chantel spent the early part of her career as an industrial electrician, before working in architecture for over 10 years.

Dan Daly

Dr Dan Daly

Dan Daly is a researcher with the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC) at UOW, where he focuses on improving the performance and sustainability of existing buildings. Dan has expertise in the energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings and has authored guides to retrofitting owner-occupied and social housing.

Elyse Stanes

Dr Elyse Stanes

Elyse Stanes is a sustainability researcher at ACCESS. Elyse works with public and third sector organisations, to investigate how material goods circulate through households, workplaces and communities, and how they might be diverted from waste streams.

Matt Daly

Dr Matt Daly

Matt Daly is a sustainability researcher with SBRC, where he works with people who design, build, manage, and occupy residential and commercial buildings. His research focuses on how to improve Australia’s building stock so it is more energy efficient and better satisfies the needs of the people who use it.

Prof. Pauline McGuirk

Prof Pauline McGuirk

Pauline McGuirk is Professor in Human Geography, and Director of the Australian Centre for Culture, Environment, Society and Space (ACCESS) at UOW. She specializes in Urban Geography. Her recent research addresses energy transition and cities, with a focus on commercial office space. She is a fellow of Australian Academy of Social Sciences.