$28 million grant to transform building design and production in Australia

A new collaborative project to transform the design and manufacturing of buildings in Australia has secured $28 million from the Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre (CRC).

Building 4.0 CRC, a research initiative focused on technology-enabled digital solutions, aims to use new products and processes to create buildings that are more sustainable, have less project delays, reduce construction waste and greenhouse gas emissions.

The funding comes in addition to a combined $131 million from across industry, government and research partners to design and construct customer-orientated projects that are cheaper, safer and faster.

Building 4.0 CRC interim CEO Professor Mathew Aitchison said the project demonstrated industry and government collaboration to solve “big issues” in the modern building industry.

“By leveraging this government funding and our deep collaboration with research and training partners, we are committed to putting the Australian industry at the forefront of global developments,” he said.

The project, based at Monash University, will be delivered by 30 leading commercial industry, university, industry bodies and government stakeholders, including Lendlease, The University of Melbourne, Donovan Group, BlueScope, CSR and the Victorian Government.

Lendlease CEO Bill Ruh said the company was proud to be part of the project.

“We are committed to creating a safer, more sustainable industry, and our investment in the CRC is essential in the research and development of solutions to achieve this vision,” he said.

Monash University president and vice-chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AC said the university was proud to lead the initiative.

“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,” she said.

Building 4.0 CRC is intended to unite expertise in architecture, design, planning, construction, engineering, business, information technology and law to develop industry-wide practices and protocols.

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