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Industry and researchers bid to revolutionise Australian construction

Monash University, Lendlease, the University of Melbourne and Donovan Group have bid for $28 million to fund an initiative the group says will revolutionise the building industry.

Monash University, Lendlease, the University of Melbourne and the Donovan Group have bid for $28 million to fund an initiative the group says will revolutionise the building industry.

The research initiative, named the Building 4.0 Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), is seeking the funding through the Federal Government CRC Program.

If successful, it will research new digital solutions that makes building faster, cheaper and smarter.

Outcomes of the Building 4.0 initiative include a 37.5 per cent reduction in project costs through technology and offsite manufacturing, a 40 per cent reduction in project delays, 80 per cent reduction in construction waste and halving carbon dioxide emissions for more sustainable buildings.

Building 4.0 Interim CEO, Mathew Aitchison, said research and development will be carried out to demonstrate the building industry can come together and solve the big challenges of our times and to deliver buildings that are more efficient, cheaper and sustainable, without sacrificing quality.

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“With our involvement in the CRC, we want to transform the way the industry collaborates, which we think is the key to unlocking major improvements in the sector,” Aitchison said.

The CRC will bring architects, designers, planners, builders, engineers, business information technology specialist and legal experts together to develop practices for the industry.

It also aims to leverage the latest technologies, data science and artificial intelligence to apply robotics in all phases of building delivery.

“Building 4.0 CRC will catapult the industry into a connected, user-centred, sustainable and efficient future,” Monash Art, Design and Architecture Faculty Dean, Shane Murray, said.

Lendlease Chief Executive Officer, Bill Ruh, said this was an incredible opportunity for Lendlease to test and use new technology, but also to develop new ways of working collaboratively with the broader industry.

“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,” Ruh said

“The accuracy and speed of construction will be second to none, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.”

The bid comprises 28 leading players in commercial industry, university, industry bodies and government partners, including: Lendlease, Monash University, University of Melbourne, 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 Australia, Green Building Council of Australia, Standards Australia, Taronga Venture Advisory, Victorian Building Authority and the Victorian Government Department of Job, Precincts and Regions.

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

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