Reducing waste, delays and emissions from building projects is the focus of a collaborative initiative between 30 industry partners that received $28 million from the Australian Government.

Monash University, Lendlease, The University of Melbourne, Donovan Group, BlueScope, Sumitomo Forestry and CSR, along with 23 other partners, have been successful in securing this funding to establish the Building 4.0 CRC - an initiative seeking to transform how buildings are designed and manufactured in Australia.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, said the $28m grant will leverage a combined $103 million from industry, government and research partners – bringing the combined research budget to $131 million over seven years.

The Building 4.0 CRC research initiative is focused on use of digital solutions, new products and processes aiming to transform Australia’s building industry to a tech-enabled, collaborative future where the customer is at the centre of each building experience and buildings are not only better, but faster, cheaper and safer.

Building 4.0 CRC is funded by the Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Program, which has the potential to boost the economy through job creation and position Australia as a leader in the advanced manufacture of buildings.

Completely unique to the Australian and international markets, the Building 4.0 CRC could set trends, break rules and transform the way the industry engages and responds to customers’ needs.

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

Some of the outcomes this initiative hopes to achieve include: a 30 per cent reduction in project costs through digital technology and off-site manufacturing; a 40 per cent reduction in project delays and an 80 per cent reduction in construction waste and; 50 per cent reduction in Co2 emissions.

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 intended to transform the entire sector.

It will also leverage the latest technologies, data science and artificial intelligence to enable the application of robotics and digital fabrication to optimise all phases of building delivery – including development, design, production, assembly, operation, maintenance and end-of-life. 

Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Margaret Gardner, said  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.

Professor Duncan Maskell, University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor, Professor Duncan Maskell, said the initiative has the potential to transform the building industry.

Donovan Group CEO, Gavin Tonnet, wants 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,” he said.




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