A consortium led by industrial and research heavyweights including Lendlease, Monash University, the University of Melbourne and BlueScope has won a $28 million grant from the Australian government to establish a new research centre for smart building solutions.
The Building 4.0 Co-operative Research Centre will combine the government’s grant with $103 million from a total 30 industry, government and research partners to overhaul the way buildings are designed and manufactured in Australia.
Other backers for the project, who have been agitating for the CRC since July last year, include the likes of the Master Builders Association of Victoria, Salesforce, and Standards Australia.
It will focus on digitally-enabled solutions and new manufacturing products to develop a more tech-focused, collaborative industry that can deliver better buildings faster, cheaper and safer.
These efficiencies are expected to be driven by increased use of data science and artificial intelligence, which would enable further adoption of robotic and digital fabrication processes across all stages of a project’s lifespan, from development, design, production and assembly through to operation, maintenance and end-of-life.
Some of the outcomes the CRC hopes to achieve include:
- 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
Chief executive of Engineers Australia, Dr Bronwyn Evans, will chair the Monash University-headquartered CRC.
“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,” Evans said.
Gavin Tonnet, Australian CEO of CRC collaborator Donovan Group, said that the CRC will be important for construction companies and their clients in visualising and realising buildings in real-time.
“The purpose is to transform the way that consumers and builders design and buy buildings by providing easy-to-use browsing-based software that allows them to custom-design, visualise and price buildings in an engineering compliant way,” Tonnet said.
Bill Ruh, Lendlease’s chief executive officer of digital added that the company’s investment in the CRC is essential to the research and development of solutions needed to meet its commitments to creating a safer, more sustainable industry.