CRC bid aims to transform building manufacturing with digital

Monash University, Lendlease, The University of Melbourne and Donovan Group are leading a $28 million funding bid for an initiative set to transform the manufacturing of buildings.  

If successful, the Building 4.0 CRC research initiative will 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.

Some of the outcomes this initiative hopes to achieve include 80 per cent reduction in construction waste and 50 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions for more sustainable buildings.

Monash University’s Professor and Interim CEO of Building 4.0 CRC, Mathew Aitchison, said, “R&D carried out in the CRC will demonstrate that the building industry can come together to solve the big challenges of our times, 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 will bring together 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 will 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. 

Dean of Architecture at Monash Art, Design and Architecture (MADA), Professor Shane Murray, said, “Building 4.0 CRC will catapult the industry into a connected, user-centred, sustainable and efficient future.”

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

Chief Executive Officer, 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.”   

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:

  • 37.5 per cent reduction in project costs through digital technology and off-site manufacturing
  • 40 per cent reduction in project delays
  • 80 per cent reduction in construction waste
  • 50 per cent reduction in Co2 emissions for more sustainable buildings

“I hope to achieve a more sustainable, more efficient and more user-friendly industry through this CRC,” Professor Tuan Ngo, Research Director of Building 4.0 CRC, from the University of Melbourne, said.

Gavin Tonnet, Australian CEO of Donovan Group, said, “Our vision is to create a world where people can visualise and realise 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.”

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
  • 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.

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