A high performance building is designed and operated to minimise environmental impact whilst providing an indoor environment that maximises occupant health and comfort. The wealth of academic research into technical and non-technical solutions for high performance building continues to grow. However, industry utilisation of academic research is limited and inconsistent due to a number of factors. This situation is compounded by academics using a broad range of methodologies, which prevents a consistent and widely accepted body of knowledge being developed. These factors contribute to a widening research-practice gap. Evidence based (EB) practice is a potential avenue to close this gap. Applied in medicine, EB practice uses a rigorous, more systematic approach on which to base decisions and increase the likelihood of the desired outcome.
This paper will outline an approach being used to introduce evidence based practice to the built environment by a research project of the CRC for Low Carbon Living, an Australian based, industry focussed research collaboration. This paper will detail results from the first stage of the research, which assesses the applicability and suitability of using a systematic review process for built environment research. The paper will discuss the difficulties with such an approach to the built environment field, and proposes a ‘realist synthesis’ adaptation.