RESEARCH COLLABORATIONS

Australia collaborates to design better, cheaper and greener buildings

SOURCE: William West/AFP
This multi-million dollar initiative will create better, cheaper and more sustainable buildings.


By U2B Staff 

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A collaboration between Monash University, Lendlease, the University of Melbourne, Donovan Group, BlueScope, Sumitomo Forestry and CSR, along with 23 more partners will look into designing and manufacturing better, cost-efficient and more sustainable buildings in Australia. 

The initiative is called Building 4.0 CRC and has collected a cumulative research fund of about AU$131 million over seven years from the Australian government and industry and research partners. 

Australia’s Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Hon Karen Andrews announced the partnership will receive an AU$28 million grant from the government which will leverage the private industry and research partner fund of AU$103 million. 

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Building 4.0 CRC will focus on the use of digital solutions, new products and processes to transform the nation’s building industry into a tech-enabled, collaborative future that is customer-centric. 

This means the customer’s interests are first priority of each building experience and these buildings will not only be built better but also faster, cheaper and safer. 

This initiative is funded by the Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Programme, which will not only boost the construction industry in terms of sustainability and cost-effectiveness but will also have the potential to boost the economy by creating more job opportunities. 

This will position Australia as a global leader in the advance manufacturing sector for buildings. 

The Building 4.0 CRC initiative will be based at Monash University in partnership with the University of Melbourne and in collaboration with the Queensland University of Technology. 

The initiative intends to achieve the following goals: 

  • 30 percent reduction in project costs through digital technology and off-site manufacturing. 
  • 40 percent reduction in project delays.
  • 80 percent reduction in construction waste.
  • 50 percent reduction in Co2 emissions for more sustainable buildings. 
Sustainable Buildings
The process of designing buildings will be transformed using advanced technology. Source: William West/AFP. 

Besides that, the initiative also plans to expand the industry by training about 36 PhD, 1000 Masters students, and 7000 apprentices in new technologies to create new high skill jobs in the industry.

The outcomes of this initiative will also lend to creating a more open, collaborative, innovative, inclusive and gender diverse environment in the advanced building manufacturing industry.

“Building 4.0 CRC demonstrates that industry and government can come together to solve the big issues facing the building industry today,” said Building 4.0 CRC Interim CEO Professor Matthew Aitchison. 

“By leveraging this government funding and our deep collaboration with research and training partners, we are committed to putting the Australian industry at the forefront of global developments.”

“This is a great opportunity to extend our proven high value utilisation of research partnerships and the CRC program,” said Lendlease Digital Delivery Co-founder and CPO Daryl Patterson. 

“The Building 4.0 CRC is going to be a really important factor in making sure we have a competitive future and we are addressing those broad sector needs,” added Building 4.0 CRC Chair Dr Bronwyn Evans. 

The initiative will foster collaboration between top industry experts in the fields of architecture, design, planning, construction, engineering, business, information technology, and law to develop industry-wide practices and protocols to transform the entire sector. 

It will also be an essential movement to digitise the sector by leveraging the latest technologies, data science, and artificial intelligence to enable the use of robotics and digital fabrication to optimise all phases involved in the building process. This includes development, design, production, assembly, operation, maintenance and end-of-life. 

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Thanks to this initiative, Australia will see greater improvement in the building sector in terms of building a healthier economy and designing more sustainable buildings. 

 “Building 4.0 CRC will lead to a growth in high-value employment, a reduction in greenhouse gases, and create better housing that is more affordable, liveable and environmentally friendly for the future of all Australians,” said Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AC. 

“Monash University is proud to be leading this initiative, and we are grateful to the Federal Government for their recognition and support of this transformational CRC.”