A $28 million funding bid, through the Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Program, has the potential to boost the economy through job creation and position Australia as a leader in advanced manufacturing of buildings. The bid was led by Monash University, Lendlease, The University of Melbourne and Donovan Group.
If successful, the Building 4.0 CRC research initiative would use digital solutions to transform Australia’s building industry from pre-industrial practices to a future where the customer is at the centre of each building experience, and buildings are built faster, cheaper and smarter.
Interim CEO of Building 4.0 CRC and Professor at Monash University, Mathew Aitchison, said research and development carried out in the CRC would demonstrate that the building industry can come together to solve challenges, delivering buildings that are more efficient, cheaper and sustainable, without sacrificing quality.
“With our involvement in the CRC, we want to transform the way the industry collaborates, which we think is the key to unlocking major improvements in the sector.”
Building 4.0 CRC would align expertise 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 would also leverage the latest technologies, data science and artificial intelligence to enable the application of robotics to optimise all phases of building delivery – including development, design, production, assembly, operation, maintenance and end-of-life.
Chief Executive Officer for Digital at Lendlease, Bill Ruh, said: “We’ve got an incredible opportunity before us where we’re looking to use the latest digital technology to create high-fidelity, fully detailed, complete and absolute models of what we’re going to build, before we build it. The accuracy and speed of construction will be second to none, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.”
“For Lendlease, the CRC program is a great opportunity for us to not only test and use technology to develop new ways of working, but to find ways of working collaboratively with the broader industry.”
Dean of Melbourne School of Engineering at the University of Melbourne, Professor Mark Cassidy, added: “Our building industry needs to lead the digital disruption to ensure it gains a first-mover advantage. These reforms are only achievable with significant innovation and collaboration across the industry.”
The Building 4.0 CRC seeks to set trends and break rules in order to transform the way the industry engages and responds to customers’ needs.
Some of the outcomes this initiative hopes to achieve include:
COST — 37.5 per cent reduction in project costs through digital technology and off-site manufacturing
ENERGY — 40 per cent reduction in life cycle costs through high-performing, efficient buildings
TIME — 40 per cent reduction in project delays through integrated, live scheduling
SUSTAINABILITY — 50 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions for more sustainable buildings
WASTE — 80 per cent reduction in construction waste and re-work for higher productivity
EXPORTS — Up to 25 per cent increase in the export of building products and construction services
BEST PRACTICE — Improved quality, customer satisfaction, safety and certainty
REGULATION — Improved policy and regulatory frameworks
COMMUNICATION — Connect industry with common protocols and interfaces, and shared data
CULTURE — Create an open, collaborative, innovative, inclusive and gender diverse industry
EDUCATION — Train 36 PhDs and 1000 Masters Students
The bid comprises 28 leading players in commercial industry, university, industry bodies and government partners, including: Lendlease, Monash University, University of Melbourne, BlueScope Steel, CSR, Utecture Australia, Bentley Homes, Coresteel Australia, A.G Coombs, Ultimate Aluminium Windows, Queensland University of Technology, Holmesglen Institute, Hyne Timber, Shapeshift Design Technologies, M-Modular, Schiavello Manufacturing, Gelion Technologies, YNOMIA, Fleetwood, Master Builders Association of Victoria, PrefabAUS, Salesforce, Sumitomo Forestry Australia, Green Building Council of Australia, Standards Australia, Taronga Venture Advisory, Victorian Building Authority and the Victorian Government Department of Job, Precincts and Regions.
Results from the CRC bid will be announced in December 2019.
More information on Building 4.0 CRC can be found here.