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Building 4.0 to transform Australia’s building industry via digitalisation

Photo Credit: Monash University

A funding bid worth AU$ 28 million, through the Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Program, has the potential to boost the economy.

The bid led by the Monash University, The University of Melbourne together with an infrastructure company and construction company, can boost the economy  through job creation.

Additionally, it may position Australia as a leader in advanced manufacturing of buildings.

Building 4.0

According to a recent press release, the Building 4.0 research initiative, if successful, 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.

Moreover, the buildings are built faster, cheaper, and smarter.

A Monash University’s Professor Mathew Aitchison, who is also the Interim CEO of Building 4.0 CRC, explained that the R&D carried out in the CRC will demonstrate that the building industry can come together to solve the big challenges of the times.

Furthermore, it will deliver buildings that are more efficient, cheaper and sustainable, without sacrificing quality.

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.

Transforming the building industry through digitalisation

It will also leverage the latest technologies such as data science and artificial intelligence (AI) to enable the application of robotics to optimise all phases of building delivery.

These phases include development, design, production, assembly, operation, maintenance and end-of-life.

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:

  1. 5% reduction in project costs through digital technology and off-site manufacturing
  2. 40% reduction in project delays
  3. 80% reduction in construction waste
  4. 50% reduction in Co2 emissions for more sustainable buildings.

The vision is to create a world where people can visualise and realise buildings in real time while the purpose is to transform the way that consumers and builders design and buy buildings.

This can be achieved 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. Results from the CRC bid will be announced in December 2019.

Partnering for innovation and research

In other news, Monash University have joined forces with a natural gas producer to develop a state-of-the-art ‘living laboratory’ and long-term research partnership to support Australia’s low-carbon energy transition.

The company will contribute AU$ 16.5 million to the construction of the building located in the Monash Technology Precinct.

The Precinct houses Australia’s largest concentration of research institutions and leading engineering companies.

The building is due for completion in early 2020. It will be one of the world’s most efficient and innovative teaching facilities.

Moreover, the partnership will explore the possibilities of hydrogen and carbon abatement, with a focus on materials, electro-chemical and thermal chemical research.

They will also jointly invest more than AU$ 40 million into the ongoing research partnership over the next seven years.

The new building and the growth of the partnership would greatly improve Australia’s capacity to find new solutions in sustainable energy technology.

This will be a place where industry interacts with students, researchers and academics to produce job-ready graduates and provide solutions to some of the biggest challenges in the future.

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