Bid to advance building and construction processes

A consortium bid has opened the way for the advanced manufacturing of buildings and construction in Australia.

The $28 million bid is a cooperation between Monash University, Lendlease, The University of Melbourne, and Donovan Group, steered through the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) program.

Entitled Building 4.0, the initiative will put the customer at the centre of each building experience. This will result in the faster, cheaper and smarter construction of buildings, while reducing waste by up to 80 per cent and Co2 emissions by 50 per cent.

The initiative will use digital solutions and combine thinking from architecture, design, planning, construction, engineering, business, information technology, and law for an outcome that can be applied across the entire sector.

The proposal will draw upon technologies such as data science, artificial intelligence and robotics at all points in the construction process, from development, to design, production, assembly, operation, maintenance and all the way through to end-of-life.

“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,” said Monash University professor Mathew Aitchison, interim CEO of Building 4.0 CRC.

The potential of this project has been hailed by professors Shane Murray, dean of the Faculty of Monash Art, Design and Architecutre (MADA), and Elizabeth Croft, dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Monash.

“Ultimately, this change of focus will lead to a growth in high-value employment, a reduction in greenhouse gases, and create better housing that’s more affordable, liveable and environmentally friendly for the future of all Australians,” said Croft.

Private partners were similarly enthusiastic, with Bill Ruh, chief executive officer, digital, at Lendlease, highlighting how new technologies have the potential to transform the way the sector operates.

“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,” said Ruh.