School of Design

Postgraduate research student profiles


Dirima Cuthbert

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 2582
Fax: (+61 8) 6488 1082


Start date

Jun 2007

Submission date

Jun 2012

Curriculum vitae

Dirima Cuthbert CV
[application/octet-stream, 82.41 kb]
Updated 26 Nov 2010

Dirima Cuthbert

Dirima Cuthbert profile photo


Why do people still build houses which consume inordinate amounts of energy? A socio-cultural study of residential architecture in Perth, Western Australia


This research investigates the apparent disconnection between what we know and what we do in relation to climate change. According to a 2009 survey undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 75 percent of Australians are concerned about climate change. Yet this concern does not appear to be reflected in our newest houses where energy, a catalyst for climate change, is being consumed like never before. Nowhere is this more concerning than in Perth, Australia's fastest growing city, where 650,000 new houses will be required by 2050. Using questionnaires, interviews and textual research I analyse energy consumption in Perth's new houses in relation to political, economic and socio-cultural contexts. Preliminary results suggest that some factors, eg status, have far more influence than others. I hope that a greater appreciation for the extent of influence of these factors will highlight the most effective ways to reduce energy consumption in Perth's new houses.

Why my research is important

There has been a good deal of research into how energy consumption can be reduced in Australia's new houses, but little research into why this is not happening 'on the ground'.


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