Monash University campus

The Australian government has provided $28 million in funding to a 30-partner collaborative initiative to revolutionise the way buildings are designed and built in Australia.

Building 4.0 Collaborative Research Centre is dedicated to developing digital solutions, processes and new projects to create buildings that are faster, cheaper and safer for customers.

Partners include Monash University, Lendlease, The University of Melbourne, Donovan Group among many significant commercial contributors.

Together they have contributed $103 million to the program to bring the total to $131 million. Building 4.0 CRC chair Dr Bronwyn Evans says the research will provide the necessary improvements to create jobs, boost the economy and position the country at the forefront of advanced building manufacturing.

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

It would be a multi-disciplinary effort between all stages of production to develop new industry-wide protocols. In addition, it will advance and apply technology such as artificial intelligence to optimise building development, construction and maintenance using digital fabrication and robotics.

“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,” Donovan Group’s Australian chief executive officer Gavin Tonnet said.

Among the initiative’s goals are a 30 per cent reduction in production costs, 80 per cent reduction in construction waste and 50 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions.

Building 4.0 CRC’s goals are an aggressive but necessary attempt to revamp the construction sector to accommodate increasing urbanisation, decrease greenhouse gas emissions from buildings and meet consumers’ sustainability expectations.

It will operate out of Monash University in partnership with the University of Melbourne and the Queensland University of Technology.

The full list of participants comprises: Monash University, University of Melbourne,  Lendlease, Donovan Group, 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, YNOMIA, Fleetwood, Master Builders Association of Victoria, PrefabAUS, Salesforce, Sumitomo Forestry, Green Building Council of Australia, Standards Australia, Taronga Venture Advisory, Victorian Building Authority and the Victorian Government Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.

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  1. …. is dedicated to developing digital solutions, processes and new projects to create buildings that are faster, cheaper and safer for customers…..Houses can be made cheaply but land costs blow the budget. If you come up with a design for faster construction you reduce employment. Catch 22

  2. I note that there is an absence of the user side of things unless the universities count as such. Building users should be included in the research group, not just people to be consulted along the way (if they do). Buildings are not “products” for consumers, they are “places, spaces and homes” used by people.