Developing lifecycle models for sustainable investment in desert communities

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Parnell, M & Seemann, KW 2005, 'Developing lifecycle models for sustainable investment in desert communities', in S Darby, P Flatau & P Hafekost (eds), Proceedings of Building for Diversity: National Housing Conference, Perth, WA, 26-28 October, Western Australian Dept. of Housing and Works, AHURI, East Perth, WA, pp. 337-347.


This paper reports on the outcomes of The Lifecycles Project, a scoping project investigating housing and infrastructure lifecycles in remote desert communities for the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre (DK-CRC). The project aims to extend the life of community housing and infrastructure through research and development of innovative intervention strategies, with particular focus on indigenous settlements, using a total capital approach. Thus the research identifies and models housing systems, technology choices, materials performance and cost-critical events, incorporating knowledge gaps, technacy education patterns, organisational systems, economic capacities, and local user experiences in community living. The research combines desktop research using state of the art lifecycle computer modelling techniques with communitybased research. To date, desktop research in the scoping stage has identified and analysed indigenous housing and infrastructure data from funding agencies, government stakeholders and housing management organizations and tested and analysed existing models using such data. Preliminary conclusions are that this data is incomplete and does not incorporate local experiences. Pilot participatory methodologies have been identified and validated at the community level to assist in identifying local knowledge gaps in the funding, design, delivery, operation and maintenance of housing and infrastructure. The paper concludes by outlining necessary work for the next stage of research.