57 Projects

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#1 ePlanning and eApprovals – Scoping Study

Planning and building approval processes are still largely paper (PDF) based, which make them inefficient and time-consuming, imposing significant costs on both industry and government. Industry is effectively unable to test plan compliance against planning controls and building regulations, track progress of their applications, and efficiently track compliance through construction. The long-term objective of the […]

ePlanning and eApprovals, Planning, Uses and Zoning  ·  Lendlease Digital, uTecture Australia, Sumitomo Forestry Australia, A.G. Coombs, Salesforce.com, Inc., Master Builders Association Victoria, Victorian Building Authority, Monash University, The University of Melbourne

Planning and building approval processes are still largely paper (PDF) based, which make them inefficient and time-consuming, imposing significant costs on both industry and government. Industry is effectively unable to test plan compliance against planning controls and building regulations, track progress of their applications, and efficiently track compliance through construction. The long-term objective of the Building 4.0 CRC in this area is to embrace the opportunities that digital workflow and digital twin technology provide to design, develop and deliver an innovative digital platform to facilitate effective, efficient and timely planning, building permits, approvals, ongoing compliance with planning controls, building regulations and other regulatory requirements.

In this project, a roadmap was developed for the phased design and implementation of an innovative digital platform to facilitate effective, efficient, and timely planning and building permits and approvals, thereby removing unnecessary delays and costs that impose substantial constraints on the building and construction sector. This objective must be viewed in the context of what industry perceives to be a broader problem, and the projects longer-term objective that extends beyond the planning and building permit process to the whole of the building lifecycle.

Researchers on this project included: Dr Davood Shojaei, Dr Soheil Sabri, Dr Eric Windholz, Dr Alexa Gower, Prof Tuan Ngo, Prof Abbas Rajabifard, Prof Colin Duffield, A/Prof Yee-Fui Ng, Dr Neda Malekzadeh, Dr Nilupa Herath, Ms Jihye Shin, Ms Susan Wright, Mr James Moutsias, Ms Cassandra Tremblay, Ms Vania Djunaidi & Ms Nellie Sheedy-Reinhard

BIM, Building approvals, Digital transformation, Digital Twin, Permits, Planning, Validation

#2 Automated tracking of construction materials for improved supply chain logistics and provenance – Phase 1 Scoping Study

The construction supply chain poses challenges and risks mainly due to its unstable, highly fragmented, and geographically dispersed nature. The ability to track and trace (i.e., traceability), is becoming increasingly important as it contributes to and associates with building compliances, safety, project efficiency, and sustainability.  Our researchers have used multiple research methods (e.g., interviews, literature […]

Supply Chain Management, Logistics  ·  BlueScope, Holmesglen Institute, Lendlease Digital, Monash University, Queensland University of Technology, Salesforce.com, Inc., Sumitomo Forestry Australia, Master Builders Association Victoria, The University of Melbourne, Victorian Building Authority, Ynomia

The construction supply chain poses challenges and risks mainly due to its unstable, highly fragmented, and geographically dispersed nature. The ability to track and trace (i.e., traceability), is becoming increasingly important as it contributes to and associates with building compliances, safety, project efficiency, and sustainability. 

Our researchers have used multiple research methods (e.g., interviews, literature review and case studies) to assess existing and emerging tracking technologies (e.g., sensors, information systems) for sectoral and issue appropriateness. This was to understand the state-of-the-art of traceability in the construction industry and key stakeholders‚ perspectives, as well as recommend future research. 

Researchers on project include: Dr Wen Li, Dr Guilherme Luz Tortorella, Prof Robin Drogemuller, Dr Aravinda Sridhara Rao, A/Prof Joseph Liu, Dr Yihai Fang, A/Prof Tim Rose, Dr Sara Omrani, Prof Alistair Barros, Prof Tuan Ngo, Mr Declan Cox, Ms Negar Adebi, Mr Noor E Karishma Shaik, Mr Siyu Chen, Mr Xin Ma & Mr Tendai Makasi.

Digitalisation, Supply Chain, Traceability

#3 Projects to Platforms: Investigating New Forms of Collaboration – Scoping Study

Construction practice is rooted in project-based thinking as organisations use temporary teams to create one-off products in response to unique and changeable site conditions. As a result, product platforms have begun to emerge in construction. However, the introduction of broader, platform-based business models promises fundamental and holistic change to traditional construction. Such business models leverage […]

Business Model Innovation, Platforms and Process  ·  A.G. Coombs, BlueScope, Hyne & Son, Lendlease Digital, Monash University, Sumitomo Forestry Australia, The University of Melbourne

Construction practice is rooted in project-based thinking as organisations use temporary teams to create one-off products in response to unique and changeable site conditions.

As a result, product platforms have begun to emerge in construction. However, the introduction of broader, platform-based business models promises fundamental and holistic change to traditional construction.

Such business models leverage a combination of strategies in terms of product and process that require investigation, definition, critique, and adaptation for their potential use in construction.

This project investigates construction's disparate ecosystem to consolidate the broader network of actors through an examination of industry-wide business-level platforms.

Researchers on project include: Dr Duncan Maxwell, Dr Priya Das, Dr Amer Hijazi, Professor Amrik Sohal, Dr Robert Moehler, Alka Nand, Daniel Samson, Prakash Singh, Zahra Seyedghorban & Liang Chen.

Business Ecosystem, Business Model change, Digital Platforms, Platforms, Supply Chain Innovation

#4 Computational Design and Optimisation Tools for Prefabricated Building Systems – Phase 1 Scoping Study

The objective of this project was to develop a computational framework for producing optimised design options for modular facade and floor systems, which are both structurally and thermally efficient, early in the conceptual design phase.  Given the multi-objective criteria (both structural and energy), several designs were presented to the client in a format that allows […]

Computational Design  ·  M-Modular, The University of Melbourne, Queensland University of Technology

The objective of this project was to develop a computational framework for producing optimised design options for modular facade and floor systems, which are both structurally and thermally efficient, early in the conceptual design phase. 

Given the multi-objective criteria (both structural and energy), several designs were presented to the client in a format that allows engineers to make an informed decision on the option that meets project constraints. The time/cost efficiency of these building systems was ascertained by benchmarking them against existing case studies of building systems (facade and floor) designed using traditional manual techniques.

Researchers on the project included: Dr Tai Thai, Prof Tuan Ngo, Prof Robin Drogemuller, Dr Veronica
Garcia Hansen, Dr Wendy Miller, Dr Abdallah Ghazlan, Dr Khuong Bui, Tu Le, Tay Son Le & Islam Mashaly.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/689238399?h=619c957472

Architecture and Building Design, Computational design, Daylighting analysis, Digital Twin, Energy analysis, engineering, Modular building, Prefabrication, Structural Engineering

#5 Automatic compliance and energy rating system

This project  transformed the current manual process of energy compliance checks for new residential homes by integrating existing rapid digital building software with Australia’s building regulation and performance assessment requirements. This project developed a comprehensive workflow to take Utecture’s existing home design and costing engine and propose subsequent compliance and NatHERS energy rating assessment procedures […]

Environmentally Sustainable Design, Digital Twins & 3D Modelling, Energy  ·  uTecture Australia, Green Building Council of Australia, The University of Melbourne, Monash University, Queensland University of Technology

This project  transformed the current manual process of energy compliance checks for new residential homes by integrating existing rapid digital building software with Australia’s building regulation and performance assessment requirements.

This project developed a comprehensive workflow to take Utecture’s existing home design and costing engine and propose subsequent compliance and NatHERS energy rating assessment procedures utilising CSIRO’s Accurate engine.  

The developed road map has paved the way for designers, builders, and clients to understand the energy performance and compliance of a home whilst also having an estimate of the capital and ongoing costs in near real time during design

Researchers on this project included: Dr. Philip Christopher, Prof. Tuan Ngo,
Prof. Lu Aye, Dr. Khuong, Dr. Victor Bunster, Prof. Robin Drogemuller, Dr. Sara Omrani.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/689239323?h=061a07aa4d

Architecture and Building Design, Building Informatics and Analysis, Cloud Computing, Database and Cloud Security, Environmental Performance, Innovation, Reality Capture, Sustainability

#6 Field Data Collation to support real-time operational management

Accurate and timely information about construction processes is essential to provide greater visibility and understanding of project progress and therefore deliver the projects on time and on budget. This project has made significant advances in the knowledge and practice of acquiring and managing real-time operation data. More specific objectives include:1) understanding how passive data collection […]

IoT, Sensors and Construction Tech, Digital Project Management  ·  Lendlease Digital, Ynomia, Standards Australia, Monash University, The University of Melbourne, Queensland University of Technology

Accurate and timely information about construction processes is essential to provide greater visibility and understanding of project progress and therefore deliver the projects on time and on budget.

This project has made significant advances in the knowledge and practice of acquiring and managing real-time operation data. More specific objectives include:
1) understanding how passive data collection can improve the management and coordination of on-site activities
2) analysing state-of-the-art in sensing and analytics technologies
3) conducting field tests to assess and validate the key assumptions underlying an implementation roadmap.

Researchers on this project included: Dr Yihai Fang, A/Prof Mehrdad Arashpour, Dr Robert Moehler, Dr Duncan Maxwell, Dr Ivana Kuzmanovska, Dr Ali Rashidi, A/Prof Kourosh Khoshelham, Dr Aravinda S. Rao, Prof Tuan Ngo & Prof Robin Drogemuller.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/689239545?h=c4f20bd343

Data Management, Innovation, Internet of Things, Sensor Technology

#8 Prefab, Integrated Wall Systems – Scoping Study

This project seeked to design a high-performance wall system exceeding the performance of a 7-star dwelling, with window systems that can be manufactured in two weeks and wall systems that can assembled on-site  (lockup stage) in four weeks, and can be manufactured, delivered and installed in a cost-effective manner.  The initial phase consisted of a […]

Sustainable Materials & Products  ·  Bentley Homes, Ultimate Windows, The University of Melbourne, Monash University

This project seeked to design a high-performance wall system exceeding the performance of a 7-star dwelling, with window systems that can be manufactured in two weeks and wall systems that can assembled on-site  (lockup stage) in four weeks, and can be manufactured, delivered and installed in a cost-effective manner. 

The initial phase consisted of a technology review and scoping exercise that  lead a detailed design phase and a manufacturing systems design phase.

Researchers on this project included: A/Prof. Felix Kin Peng Hui, Prof. Tuan Ngo Prof. Lu Aye,
A/Prof. Tai Thai, Dr Philip Christopher, Dr Harry Khuong Bui, Dr Wasim Muhammad, Dr Ivana Kuzmanovska, Dr Duncan Maxwell, Dr Victor Bunster,  Dr Alexandra McRobert 

#9 Implementing DfMA and Lean in Construction: Best Practice Guidelines through a Study of Building Services and Structure

This 6-month research project aimed to understand: the current state of Lean and Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA) knowledge within construction; their degree of implementation in both the local construction industry and abroad; and the implementation challenges that need to be addressed if we are to see broader uptake. To address these points, the […]

Building Design and DFMA, Construction Management, Platforms and Process  ·  A.G. Coombs, Lendlease Digital, Monash University, The University of Melbourne

This 6-month research project aimed to understand: the current state of Lean and Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA) knowledge within construction; their degree of implementation in both the local construction industry and abroad; and the implementation challenges that need to be addressed if we are to see broader uptake.

To address these points, the project team conducted a literature review, a case study of a local construction project, and a survey of leading local and international companies who have adopted DfMA and/or Lean practices. The findings were synthesised into a self-assessment tool and implementation roadmap concept aimed at individual companies hoping to adopt Lean and DfMA practices.

Researchers on the project included: Dr Ivana Kuzmanovska: Dr Rachel Couper, Dr Tharaka De Vass, Dr
Felix Hui, Dr Duncan Maxwell, Dr Robert Moehler, Prof Tuan Ngo, Achini Peiris, Dr Gao Shang, Prof Amrik Sohal, Rebecca Williams, Yiqin (Iris) Yu & Darcy Zelenko.

DfMA, Lean

#10 Product Platform for Volumetric Building (Scoping Study)

Product platforms seek to standardise products, processes, company knowledge, and supply chain to drive efficiency, unlock design variability, and enable continual improvement in response to market conditions. This project sought to define a framework and roadmap for the future development of a product platform specific to the context and the needs of our industry partner: […]

Platforms and Process, Building Design and DFMA  ·  Fleetwood Australia, Monash University

Product platforms seek to standardise products, processes, company knowledge, and supply chain to drive efficiency, unlock design variability, and enable continual improvement in response to market conditions.

This project sought to define a framework and roadmap for the future development of a product platform specific to the context and the needs of our industry partner: a large Australian volumetric construction company.

The research involved: the investigation of best practice case studies; value stream mapping of our industry partners existing design, manufacture, and assembly systems; and identification of pain points‚ in the value stream and opportunities for commonality of parts and processes.

Researchers on the project included: Dr Duncan Maxwell & Dr Ivana Kuzmanovska

Monash Future Building Initiative

DfMA, Industrialised Building, Prefabrication, Product Platform, Volumetric construction

#11 Environmental Credentials for Building Technology Platforms

There is a growing need for environmental credentials to support B2B and B2C communication in the building industry. Solutions based on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology are the most comprehensive, covering all the stages of the building’s lifecycle – from extraction of raw materials to their end-of-life stages. Despite the potential efficiencies of loosely-coupled […]

Environmentally Sustainable Design, Sustainable Materials & Products, Life Cycle Assessment, Energy  ·  uTecture Australia, Coresteel Buildings, Monash University

There is a growing need for environmental credentials to support B2B and B2C communication in the building industry. Solutions based on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology are the most comprehensive, covering all the stages of the building's lifecycle – from extraction of raw materials to their end-of-life stages.

Despite the potential efficiencies of loosely-coupled supply chains, distributed decision making, and increased levels of digitalisation, there are no readily available methods to systematically assess the environmental impacts of building technology platforms.

This project is developing an ISO-compliant LCA framework to quantify and communicate these impacts using the uTecture and Airbuildr platforms as cases.

Researchers on the project include: Dr Victor Bunster, Dr Duncan Maxwell, Santiago Muñoz-Vela,
Fernando Pavez, Yussra Rashed, Seongwon Seo & Edan Weis.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/690487453?h=25c787f18e

Environmental Performance, LCA, Life Cycle Analysis, Net Zero Emissions, Platforms

#12 VR/AR technologies in vocational education and training (scoping study)

Australia’s Vocational Education Training sector has a critical role in preparing or updating current or future employees with job-related skills required in the workforce. The construction industry is highly regulated by VET programs that provide licensing requirements to many construction occupations. The number of VET-related occupations is expected to increase in the coming years, driven […]

Construction Safety and Wellbeing, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Digital Twins & 3D Modelling, Digital Project Management  ·  Holmesglen Institute, Master Builders Association Victoria, Monash University

Australia's Vocational Education Training sector has a critical role in preparing or updating current or future employees with job-related skills required in the workforce. The construction industry is highly regulated by VET programs that provide licensing requirements to many construction occupations. The number of VET-related occupations is expected to increase in the coming years, driven by a growing demand for skilled workers due to construction projects.

These requirements imply significant pressures to update the training delivery approaches in the construction VET system. Findings for this project were obtained from a literature review, market survey and a Delphi method as a research approach, which were selected to propose a decision making process to determine appropriate XR technology for specific skill training in the construction industry.

This study proposes the most significant factors that VET educational providers should consider when selecting XR technologies to be implemented in VET training programs. Likewise, this study presents a workflow process for translating conventional vocational skill training into XR-based (VR/AR/MR) learning environments.

Researchers on the project included: Dr Ali Rashidi (Project Lead), Dr Duncan Maxwell, Associate Prof Mehrdad Arashpour Dr Yihai Fang, Dr Barrett Ens, Prof Robin Drogemuller, Dr Leo Rezayan & Dr Fiona Lamari.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/689241701?h=ace0af2ac9
https://player.vimeo.com/video/689240260?h=2aef3e723a

3D Visualisation and Modelling, Augmented Reality, Capability Development, Digital Twins, Extended Reality, Health & Safety, Human Resources, Industrialised Construction, Innovation, Mixed Reality, Reality Capture, Virtual Reality, Workforce Management

#15 Using the Whole Tree for Future Timber-Based Construction – Scoping Study

This project aims to optimise parts of the Australian sawn timber processing sector, so it can adapt to changes in market demand and material characteristics in ways that align with the future timber-based construction. The project is a review and scoping exercise to find ways of using the whole tree more effectively, while adding value […]

Sustainable Materials & Products, Supply Chain Management, Logistics, Building Materials & Systems, Environmentally Sustainable Design  ·  Hyne & Son, Sumitomo Forestry Australia, The University of Melbourne

This project aims to optimise parts of the Australian sawn timber processing sector, so it can adapt to changes in market demand and material characteristics in ways that align with the future timber-based construction. The project is a review and scoping exercise to find ways of using the whole tree more effectively, while adding value to the built environment. The aim is to propose avenues of research that will address timber supply and provide manufacturing and structural design solutions to build a more resilient industry.

Researchers on the project include: Dr Benoit Belleville, Dr Wen Li, Dr Alireza A. Chiniforush,
Prof Tuan Ngo, Prof Barbara Ozarska, Prof Rod Keenan, Mr Richard Nero & Mr Johannes Fehrmann.

UoM Sustainable and Renewable Forest Products Group

Advanced Manufacturing, Engineered Wood Products, Plantation Resource, Sawn timber, Supply Chain

#17 The implication of Industry 4.0 for the construction industry: towards smart prefab

The Australian construction industry has faced severe challenges over the past few years. Spiralling costs of building materials and construction have made housing less affordable. Productivity, sustainability, health and well-being, and safety imperatives together with the market-wide expectation for high-quality design have further challenged traditional construction. This project developed a roadmap for Smart Prefab and […]

Building Materials & Systems, Digital Project Management, IoT, Sensors and Construction Tech, User Interface, Visualisation and Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Digital and Automated Fabrication (Robotics), Platforms and Process, Policy and Regulation, Digital Twins & 3D Modelling, Business Model Innovation, Supply Chain Management, Logistics  ·  Monash University, The University of Melbourne, Queensland University of Technology, AMGC Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre

The Australian construction industry has faced severe challenges over the past few years. Spiralling costs of building materials and construction have made housing less affordable.

Productivity, sustainability, health and well-being, and safety imperatives together with the market-wide expectation for high-quality design have further challenged traditional construction.

This project developed a roadmap for Smart Prefab and Industry 4.0 for the Australian building industry.  This was developed through a thorough review of world best practice and industry 4.0 principles coupled with a series of workshops with industry leaders in construction in Australia to better understand opportunities and barriers facing them

Researchers on project included: Dr Philip Christopher, Dr Siddhesh Godbole, Dr Aravinda Rao,
Dr Francisca Rodriguez Leonard, Dr Sahar Soltani, Dr Ali Rashidi, Prof Tuan Ngo & Dr Duncan Maxwell.

Advanced Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Australian Building Industry, Digital Engineering, Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, Robotics, Smart Prefab, Virtual Reality

#18 Long-span Low-Carbon Floor Systems (Scoping Study)

CRC#18 addresses the lack of data-informed product evaluation methods in construction, through the benchmarking of nine long-span, low carbon floor systems. The key outcomes of the research point towards a logic and workflow that could be applied to any productised building element, involving: Researchers on the project included: Ivana Kuzmanovska: Mizan Ahmed, Mehrdad Arashpour,Victor Bunster, […]

Building Design and DFMA, Fire Safety, Building Materials & Systems, Sustainable Materials & Products  ·  Lendlease Digital, Sumitomo Forestry Australia, Monash University, The University of Melbourne

CRC#18 addresses the lack of data-informed product evaluation methods in construction, through the benchmarking of nine long-span, low carbon floor systems.

The key outcomes of the research point towards a logic and workflow that could be applied to any productised building element, involving:

  • product mapping according to material and element type
  • visualisation of high level benchmarking findings for use during early building design
  • synthesis of detailed benchmarking findings to enable transparent discussion of decision priorities

    This framework can be used as the basis for: further product benchmarking; evaluation and selection of most suitable products given an explicit set of selection priorities; and future product design development.

Researchers on the project included: Ivana Kuzmanovska: Mizan Ahmed, Mehrdad Arashpour,
Victor Bunster, Victor Chang, Lariza de Guzman, Tom Heath, Enzo Lara-Hamilton, Duncan Maxwell, Declan Murphy, Sejuti Saha, Angela Solarte, Jenny Zhou, Stephen Go, Felix Hui, Wen Li, Richard Nero, Tuan Ngo, Tuan Nguyen, Tai Thai & Muhammad Wasim.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/689242035?h=68fea8de37

Architecture and Building Design, DfMA, engineering, Environmental Performance, Industrialised Construction, Prefabrication, Sustainability

#19 Hybrid Timber‐Steel Structural Systems for Mid to High Rise Buildings – Phase 1 Scoping Study

Mid-to-high-rise buildings in Australia are mainly constructed using reinforced concrete structures and have large carbon footprints. Advanced manufacturing of engineered timber products, such as CLT and Glulam, as well as cold formed steel/high strength steel, with high strength-to-weight ratio, have paved the way for construction of those buildings, using hybrid timber-steel structural systems with a […]

Sustainable Materials & Products  ·  BlueScope, Hyne & Son, Monash University, The University of Melbourne, Queensland University of Technology

Mid-to-high-rise buildings in Australia are mainly constructed using reinforced concrete structures and have large carbon footprints.

Advanced manufacturing of engineered timber products, such as CLT and Glulam, as well as cold formed steel/high strength steel, with high strength-to-weight ratio, have paved the way for construction of those buildings, using hybrid timber-steel structural systems with a reduced carbon footprint.

Lightweight hybrid timber-steel systems may also enable a reduction in construction cost and time by allowing a DfMA approach to be taken to design and construction, and allowing the manufacturing of building components offsite.

Despite the potential of hybrid structures, and unlike North America and Europe, the high-rise building market in Australia is still dominated by concrete structures, and the use of steel and timber has made few in-roads into this market.

This project reviewed developments in hybrid timber-steel buildings to identify the barriers to the take-up of this technology in Australia, with a focus on medium and high-rise buildings.

Researchers on this project included: Assoc. Prof Amin Heidarpour, Prof Tuan Ngo,  Dr Craig Cowled, Dr Rackel San Nicolas, Mohammad Amin Farmani, Ali Shahin, Alireza Akbarzadeh Chiniforush.

Image credit: 547 Ann Street Fortitude Valley, QLD, Fulton Trotter Architects, Bligh Tanner and Kane Construction. CLT supplied by Xlam.

design for manufacturing and assembly, DfMA, hybrid steel-timber structures, Steel structures, timber structures

#20 Systems and methods for robustness of mid-rise light gauge steel (LGS) buildings – Phase 1 Scoping Study

Unlike hot-rolled steel buildings, where the robustness requirement can be easily met with the use of bolted or welded joining methods with high tensile resistance for connecting structural members, the connections in LGS buildings are made in the form of screws and rivets with low tensile resistance, and thus they are usually vulnerable to progressive […]

Building Materials & Systems, Structural Optimisation  ·  BlueScope, The University of Melbourne, Monash University

Unlike hot-rolled steel buildings, where the robustness requirement can be easily met with the use of bolted or welded joining methods with high tensile resistance for connecting structural members, the connections in LGS buildings are made in the form of screws and rivets with low tensile resistance, and thus they are usually vulnerable to progressive failure.

This project developed cost-effective systems and design methods to achieve suitable robustness in LGS buildings. The success of this study promotes the practical application of LGS to mid-rise construction markets.

Researchers on this project included: Prof Tuan Ngo, Prof Nelson Lam, A/Prof Tai Thai, Dr Tuan Nguyen, Mr Chris Mathwin, A/Prof Amin Heidarpour, Dr Mizan Ahmed.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/689242722?h=fc5441f24f

Architecture and Building Design, engineering, Innovation, Materials, Steel structures

#21 Regulatory Reform for Industrialised Building

The construction industry is moving towards more industrialised practices, including offsite manufacturing of building components. However, current regulatory practices are not well suited to accommodate these industrialised practices. This project aims to build on previous work and propose reform to recognise industrialised building practices. It seeks to address two main questions: how to improve current […]

Policy and Regulation, Change Management, Construction Management  ·  A.G. Coombs, Fleetwood Australia, Lendlease Digital, Queensland University of Technology, Standards Australia, Sumitomo Forestry Australia, Master Builders Association Victoria, Victorian Building Authority

The construction industry is moving towards more industrialised practices, including offsite manufacturing of building components. However, current regulatory practices are not well suited to accommodate these industrialised practices. This project aims to build on previous work and propose reform to recognise industrialised building practices. It seeks to address two main questions: how to improve current regulations to accommodate various industrialised practices and how to "future proof" the reform for upcoming innovations. This will be done by reviewing current regulations, proposing standardised certification processes, considering new technologies and ensuring the proposed reform remains relevant in the face of future changes. 

Project team: Sara Rashidian, Dr Brydon Wang, Prof. Robin Drogemuller, Assoc. Prof. Timothy Rose, Research Assistant (TBC)

Building approvals, Construction Management, Industrialised Building, Industrialised Construction, Regulation and policy

#22 Generative design and BIM-based Design Automation methods for Steel Framed Buildings – Phase 1 Scoping Study

Light gauge steel (LGS) offers significant advantages over other materials including lightweight, quicker construction times, non-combustibility and resistance to rotting, shrinking, warping and termite attack. Today, it is not clearly understood which tools and inputs should be considered at the early planning phase in order for an LGS solution to be considered a viable structural […]

BlueScope, The University of Melbourne, Queensland University of Technology

Light gauge steel (LGS) offers significant advantages over other materials including lightweight, quicker construction times, non-combustibility and resistance to rotting, shrinking, warping and termite attack.

Today, it is not clearly understood which tools and inputs should be considered at the early planning phase in order for an LGS solution to be considered a viable structural construction alternative to timber, steel and other structural systems, particularly in mid-rise building applications.

The project developed computational design and optimisation tools for generating LGS building systems with excellent structural/fire performance that was benchmarked against an existing project that has employed traditional methods to quantify time and cost savings.

Researchers on this project included: Dr Abdallah Ghazlan, Dr Tu Le, Dr Yousef Alqaryouti,
Dr Muhammad Wasim, Dr Sara Omrani, Dr Tai Thai, A/ Prof Hafizah Ramli Sulong, Prof Tuan Ngo, Prof Nelson Lam & Prof Robin Drogemuller.

#23 When prefab hits the ground: Barriers and opportunities in the Australian housing market

Traditional construction practices in Australia have been criticised for their focus on the reduction of upfront construction costs at the expense of quality, performance and flexibility. Current and emerging prefabrication processes could provide the efficiency and quality of construction to the traditional built-to-sell market, however by incorporating the possibilities to cater for the recently developing […]

Housing and Urban Design (Affordability), Sustainable Materials & Products  ·  Fleetwood Australia, Sumitomo Forestry Australia, Monash University, Queensland University of Technology

Traditional construction practices in Australia have been criticised for their focus on the reduction of upfront construction costs at the expense of quality, performance and flexibility.

Current and emerging prefabrication processes could provide the efficiency and quality of construction to the traditional built-to-sell market, however by incorporating the possibilities to cater for the recently developing built-to-rent sector is considered to drive it even stronger.

This is because Build-to-rent shifts the housing profit model from capital gains to one based on ongoing rental income, with viability tied to minimising ongoing expenditure.

This scoping study examined the intersection of these assets and prefabrication processes, to identify opportunities for the housing and construction sector to reduce ongoing greenhouse gas emissions and increase the quality of stock.

Researchers on this project included: Dr Tanja Tyvimaa: Dr Alysia Bennett, Dr Judy Matthews, Dr Duncan Maxwell, Declan Murphy, Dr Francisca Rodriguez Leonard, Daniela Tinios, Dr Kirsty Volz, Rebecca Williams.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/689243209?h=04fd158b0c

Housing, Prefabrication

#24 Next Generation of Robust and Fire-resilient Light Gauge Steel Systems for Mid-Rise Buildings (Umbrella Project) 

This project will investigate the fire resistance behavior of light gauge steel (LGS) floor ceiling systems made of high strength lipped channel sections and truss configurations. It will use small-scale and full-scale fire tests and advanced numerical modelling. It will consider the commonly used sub-floor and ceiling materials, investigate the mechanical properties of floor and […]

Fire Safety, Building Materials & Systems, Structural Optimisation  ·  BlueScope, Queensland University of Technology, The University of Melbourne, NASH National Association of Steel Framed Housing

This project will investigate the fire resistance behavior of light gauge steel (LGS) floor ceiling systems made of high strength lipped channel sections and truss configurations. It will use small-scale and full-scale fire tests and advanced numerical modelling. It will consider the commonly used sub-floor and ceiling materials, investigate the mechanical properties of floor and ceiling materials and associated connections at ambient and elevated temperatures, and study their effects on the fire resistance levels (FRLs) including those of board fall-off. It will develop FRL tables and spreadsheet-based design tools for all the selected LGS floor configurations for inclusion in fire design handbooks.

Light gauge steel (LGS) offers significant advantages over other construction materials such as easy to install and resistant to rotting, shrinking and termite attack. However, the structural robustness to resist progressive collapse under localised damage due to accidental loads is a critical concern in LGS systems. This is particularly the case given the connections in LGS buildings are usually made via screws and rivets with low tying resistance.

This project will develop cost-effective structural solutions for robustness of LGS structures to promote their applications in mid-rise construction markets such as offices, apartments, hotels, hospitals, student accommodation and aged care facilities.

Researchers on project include: Prof. Mahen Mahendran, Dr Anthony Ariyanayagam, Mr Fatheen Hisham, & Mr Gihan Ranasinghe. Prof Tuan Ngo, Prof Nelson Lam, A/Prof Tai Thai, Dr Tuan Nguyen, Mr Chris Mathwin, Mr Trac Nguyen.

#25 Operational Excellence framework of steel fabrication and processing in the OSM and prefabrication sector (Phase 1)

In the manufacturing of modules off-site, steel fabrication often comes with many challenges, including supply chain reliability and clarity, the need for efficient production at both the steel producer and the modular builder end, and the flexibility for customisation. This project looked for new methods of efficient production and new ways of collaborating in the […]

Sustainable Materials & Products, Business Model Innovation, Supply Chain Management, Logistics, Platforms and Process  ·  BlueScope, Fleetwood Australia, Monash University, The University of Melbourne, Ynomia

In the manufacturing of modules off-site, steel fabrication often comes with many challenges, including supply chain reliability and clarity, the need for efficient production at both the steel producer and the modular builder end, and the flexibility for customisation.

This project looked for new methods of efficient production and new ways of collaborating in the steel fabrication supply chain from different perspectives such as monitoring, sustainability performance, efficient product platforms, innovative manufacturing techniques, transport and logistics and efficient communications.

Phase 1 of this project was a scoping exercise to review the current state of the market and a comprehensive technology review.

Researchers on this project included: A/Prof. Felix Kin Peng Hui, Prof. Daniel Samson, Prof. Prakash Singh,
A/Prof. Sherah Kurnia, Dr Guilherme Tortorella, Prof Tuan Ngo, Dr Siddhesh Godbole, Mr Omar Castrejon, Dr Robert Moehler, Dr Jenny Zhou & Dr Mizan Ahmed.

Data interoperability, Product Platform, Steel structures, Supplier relationships, Supply Chain

#26 New materials for windows of the future

Double-glazed windows are a norm in many countries across Europe, Asia and North America due to their effective reduction of heat loss (~30%) compared to single -glazed windows. However, in Australia, only 10% (approx.) of current window installations are double-glazed. This is in part owing to the temperate climate across many parts of Australia, but […]

Building Operation and Performance, Building Materials & Systems, Sustainable Materials & Products, Environmentally Sustainable Design  ·  Ultimate Windows, Monash University

Double-glazed windows are a norm in many countries across Europe, Asia and North America due to their effective reduction of heat loss (~30%) compared to single -glazed windows.

However, in Australia, only 10% (approx.) of current window installations are double-glazed. This is in part owing to the temperate climate across many parts of Australia, but equally the high cost of double glazing. Material science has made rapid progress over the last two decades resulting in the development of many new advanced materials and coatings.

This project focussed on providing a critical assessment of the opportunities to apply new materials and coatings to reduce the cost, and improve the performance and ease of installation of double-glazed windows.

Researchers on this project included: Prof Jacek Jasieniak, Dr Jing Gong.

Building Transformation, Coatings, Double Glazed Windows, Energy Efficency, Polymers

#27 Environmental Decision-Support for Structures

There is a growing demand for reliable methods to rapidly assess and compare the environmental impacts of alternative building solutions. Approaches based on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology are most commonly recognised by industry and academia; however, producing accurate results under this framework requires highly specialised skills and research effort that prevents their ready […]

Environmentally Sustainable Design, Energy, Life Cycle Assessment, Sustainable Materials & Products  ·  BlueScope, Monash University, The University of Melbourne

There is a growing demand for reliable methods to rapidly assess and compare the environmental impacts of alternative building solutions. Approaches based on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology are most commonly recognised by industry and academia; however, producing accurate results under this framework requires highly specialised skills and research effort that prevents their ready incorporation into the design of most buildings.

The main objective of this project is to generate a knowledge base to inform the development of decision-support systems, supporting environmentally efficient building design.

Researchers on project include: Victor Bunster, Victor Chang, Maxwell Chng, Peter Graham,
Santiago Muñoz-Vela, Safoura Salehi, Jenny Zhou, Lu Aye, Khuong Bui, Philip Christopher, Tuan Ngo & Thais Goncalves-Sartori.

Decision Support, LCA, Steel structures, Sustainability

#28 Componentised Internal Wall Systems for Multi-residential Applications

Internal wall systems continue to rely on labour intensive and wasteful on-site processing despite advances in prefabrication and other aspects of multi-residential construction. Described performance requirements rely heavily on craftsmanship and supervision ‚when these fail, significant and costly legacy issues arise.  Through a design-led, systems-thinking approach, this project explored componentised and connected internal wall alternatives, […]

Building Materials & Systems, Digital and Automated Fabrication (Robotics), Life Cycle Assessment  ·  Lendlease Digital, Monash University, The University of Melbourne

Internal wall systems continue to rely on labour intensive and wasteful on-site processing despite advances in prefabrication and other aspects of multi-residential construction. Described performance requirements rely heavily on craftsmanship and supervision ‚when these fail, significant and costly legacy issues arise. 

Through a design-led, systems-thinking approach, this project explored componentised and connected internal wall alternatives, ranging from the improvement of BAU construction to the separation of performance core and surface, to plug-n-play installation. 

The investigation revealed a series of design principles for costing legacy and life-time value, allowing services and performance-based criteria to be integrated in a controlled, off-site environment.

Researchers on this project included: Dr Laura Harper, Dr Lee-Anne Khor, Dr Duncan Maxwell, Dr Ivana
Kuzmanovska, Dr Victor Bunster, Jean-Paul Rollo, Daniela Tinios, Prof. Tuan Ngo, Dr Yousef Alqaryouti & Dr Xuemei Liu.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/691110453?h=a22f5a0a3b

Advanced Manufacturing, Architecture and Building Design, Building Operations, Business Processes, Circular Economy, Facility Management, Industrialised Construction, Materials, Prefabrication, Workforce Management

#29 Real-time EH&S Intervention to Improve Site Safety (Scoping Study)

Human error is the largest contributor to onsite accidents in the construction industry, but can be reduced through improvements to workplace design and procedures.  Through an examination of current practices, this project aims to identify existing relationships between variables such as worker behaviour and sentiment, site activities, and workplace incidents, from which we can uncover […]

Construction Safety and Wellbeing, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, IoT, Sensors and Construction Tech, Digital Twins & 3D Modelling, User Interface, Visualisation and Analytics  ·  Monash University, Lendlease Digital, The University of Melbourne

Human error is the largest contributor to onsite accidents in the construction industry, but can be reduced through improvements to workplace design and procedures. 

Through an examination of current practices, this project aims to identify existing relationships between variables such as worker behaviour and sentiment, site activities, and workplace incidents, from which we can uncover actionable insights to mitigate safety risks. 

An inspection of practices from industries with a proven safety record and a survey of novel technologies will reveal potential opportunities for detection and intervention of risks, including the application of digital twins for evaluating proposed changes to design and procedures.

Researchers on this project include: Dr Pari Delir Haghighi, Prof. Tim Dwyer, Dr Hamid Rezatofighi, Dr Teresa Wang, Dr Benjamin Tag, Prof. Tuan Ngo, Dr Tuan Nguyen, Prof. Rajkumar Buyya. 

Artificial Intelligence, computer vision, Construction Safety, Digital Twins, EH&S, Immersive Analytics, IOT, Site Monitoring, Site Safety, Worker Mood Monitoring

#30 Critical Path IMPACT through Productisation

The critical path coordinates and supports construction planning and execution, and defines the prioritisation and interdependence of tasks. The resulting build program establishes a timeline, informed by the production modes, plans and management practices. New building production systems and planning arrangements have only partially resulted in achieving the construction phase productivity gains and performance improvements […]

Business Model Innovation, Building Design and DFMA  ·  Lendlease Digital, Monash University, The University of Melbourne

The critical path coordinates and supports construction planning and execution, and defines the prioritisation and interdependence of tasks.

The resulting build program establishes a timeline, informed by the production modes, plans and management practices.

New building production systems and planning arrangements have only partially resulted in achieving the construction phase productivity gains and performance improvements promised by their introduction.

This project examined the roadblocks to effective impact on transforming construction programs, and established the context and conditions of future project timelines.

Researchers on this project included: Dr Robert Moehler, Dr Felix Hui, Prof Tuan Ngo, A/Prof Lihai Zhang,
Dr Siddhesh Godbole, Dr Nicolas Diban, Dr Duncan Maxwell, Dr Ivana Kuzmanovska, Dr Yihai Fang, Becky Williams, Osama Hussain, Songbo Hu, Yimin Li & Kaveh Mirzaei.

Critical Path Analysis, Dynamic Scheduling, Impact, Integration, Product approach, Project Anatomy

#31 Demystifying Volumetric Construction: A Study of the Bathroom Pod

The potential benefits of volumetric construction include faster builds, improved quality, and reduction in waste. However, increased transportation costs, structural redundancy, and increased overheads can dilute these benefits, limiting their uptake. Within the Australian construction industry, the bathroom pod is one of the few volumetric assemblies that has become commonplace, and considered an acceptable method […]

Building Design and DFMA, Business Model Innovation, Construction Management, Platforms and Process, Supply Chain Management, Logistics  ·  Lendlease Digital, Monash University, Queensland University of Technology, The University of Melbourne

The potential benefits of volumetric construction include faster builds, improved quality, and reduction in waste.

However, increased transportation costs, structural redundancy, and increased overheads can dilute these benefits, limiting their uptake. Within the Australian construction industry, the bathroom pod is one of the few volumetric assemblies that has become commonplace, and considered an acceptable method of delivering bathrooms in multi-storey buildings.

However, the degree to which manufacturing methodologies have been adopted in the design and delivery of bathroom pods varies.

This project unpicks the complexities of a volumetric construction through the lens of the bathroom pod, examining business models, design approaches, and production strategies.

Researchers on project include: Dr Ivana Kuzmanovska: Dr Lu Aye, Marcel Gono, Dr Felix Hui,
Mohaimeen Islam, Dr Lee-Anne Khor, Enzo Lara-Hamilton, Yimin Li, Dr Xuemei Liu, Dr Duncan Maxwell, Dr Robert Moehler, Prof Tuan Ngo, Mark Romei, Karen Tanfield, Dr Tanja Tyvimaa, Prof Clevo
Wilson & Darcy Zelenko.

Bathroom pods, design for manufacturing and assembly, DfMA, Modular construction, Productisation, Volumetric construction

#32 Acoustic flanking performance of mid-rise light gauge steel (LGS) structures

The project aims to develop a robust method for predicting the acoustic flanking performance of floor and wall systems in mid-rise LGS buildings. The resulting design recommendations will give the building community confidence about how to reliably design and construct LGS buildings. Researchers on this project include: Assoc Prof Amin Heidarpour, Prof. Tuan Ngo, Prof […]

Building Design and DFMA, Building Materials & Systems, Housing and Urban Design (Affordability), Sustainable Materials & Products, Construction Safety and Wellbeing, Building Operation and Performance, Computational Design  ·  BlueScope, Monash University, The University of Melbourne, NASH National Association of Steel Framed Housing

The project aims to develop a robust method for predicting the acoustic flanking performance of floor and wall systems in mid-rise LGS buildings. The resulting design recommendations will give the building community confidence about how to reliably design and construct LGS buildings.

Researchers on this project include: Assoc Prof Amin Heidarpour, Prof. Tuan Ngo, Prof Lu Aye, Dr Bernard Gibson.

Acoustic, Australian Building Industry, Computational design, DfMA, Digital Engineering, engineering, Flanking, Impact, Light-gauge steel structures, Steel structures, Validation

#33 Evaluation of emerging technologies for remote inspections of building work

Remote building inspections are expected to reduce the time and travel needs required by traditional in-person inspections while maintaining (or enhancing) the integrity and rigor of the inspection process and outcome. However, the effectiveness and suitability of technologies for remote building inspections are not fully understood and rigorously evaluated. This project aims to: 1) review […]

Policy and Regulation, IoT, Sensors and Construction Tech, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning  ·  Victorian Building Authority, Salesforce.com, Inc., Sumitomo Forestry Australia, The University of Melbourne, Monash University

Remote building inspections are expected to reduce the time and travel needs required by traditional in-person inspections while maintaining (or enhancing) the integrity and rigor of the inspection process and outcome. However, the effectiveness and suitability of technologies for remote building inspections are not fully understood and rigorously evaluated.

This project aims to:
1) review best remote inspection practices
2) evaluate digital technologies for remote building inspections
3) develop a guideline for the effective implementation of suitable technologies for remote building inspections.

Outcomes from this project are expected to guide the implementation of technologies and workflows for remote building inspection.  

Researchers on project include: Dr Yihai Fang, Eric Windholz, Kourosh Khoshelham, Tuan Ngo, Tanghan
Jiang, Jimmy Weng & Sajjad Einizinab.

Digital technology, Regulation and policy, Remote building inspection

#34 Acoustic flanking performance of mid‐rise Light Gauge Steel (LGS) structures – Phase 1 Scoping Study

Light Gauge Steel (LGS) structures have great advantages in terms of lower weight, easier to transport, minimum construction wastes and shorter construction time. Although the resistance of various light gauge systems, including floor and wall systems, under different loading cases has been widely recognised and tested, there is very limited information on the acoustic flanking […]

Sustainable Materials & Products, Building Operation and Performance  ·  BlueScope, Monash University, The University of Melbourne

Light Gauge Steel (LGS) structures have great advantages in terms of lower weight, easier to transport, minimum construction wastes and shorter construction time.

Although the resistance of various light gauge systems, including floor and wall systems, under different loading cases has been widely recognised and tested, there is very limited information on the acoustic flanking performance of LGS structures.

This scoping study lays the groundwork for developing a robust methodology for assessing the acoustic flanking performance of LGS buildings.

Researchers on this project included: Assoc Prof Amin Heidarpour, Prof. Tuan Ngo, Prof Lu Aye, Dr Bernard Gibson.

Acoustic, Flanking, Light-gauge steel structures, Steel structures, Sustainability

#35 Prefab Housing Solutions for Bushfire & Disaster Relief

This study investigated the potential for prefabrication and advanced manufacture to be an alternative to traditional construction in providing both short-term and long-term housing solutions for those affected by bushfires and other disasters. The research led to understanding the complexities and barriers to designing, manufacturing and installing prefabricated modular homes and units to bushfire impacted […]

Housing and Urban Design (Affordability), Fire Safety  ·  Monash University, The University of Melbourne, Queensland University of Technology, AMGC Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre

This study investigated the potential for prefabrication and advanced manufacture to be an alternative to traditional construction in providing both short-term and long-term housing solutions for those affected by bushfires and other disasters.

The research led to understanding the complexities and barriers to designing, manufacturing and installing prefabricated modular homes and units to bushfire impacted regions around the country.

Researchers on this project included: Prof Mel Dodd, Prof Nigel Bertram, Dr Duncan Maxwell, Dr Rachel
Couper, Dr Lee-Anne Khor, Dr Angela Solarte, Oscar Sainsbury, Prof Tuan Ngo, Dr Philip Christopher & Tu Le.

Bushfire, Disaster relief, Prefabrication

#36 Academic validation of performance gap research in energy rating systems

The report Closing the performance gap in Australia’s commercial office sector (produced by Building 4.0 CRC and the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA)) showed modelled energy performance of Green Star certified buildings is being achieved in operation, as demonstrated by NABERS energy ratings. The GBCA aims to further validate and extend this research through […]

Energy, Environmentally Sustainable Design  ·  Green Building Council of Australia, Monash University

The report Closing the performance gap in Australia's commercial office sector (produced by Building 4.0 CRC and the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA)) showed modelled energy performance of Green Star certified buildings is being achieved in operation, as demonstrated by NABERS energy ratings. The GBCA aims to further validate and extend this research through an academically peer-reviewed publication.

This project involves undertaking research to understand the outcomes of the Closing the performance gap report in the context of international contemporary academic studies and literature.

Researchers on this project include: Dr Victor Bunster, Dr Thais Gonçalves-Sartori, Dr Duncan Maxwell.

Energy analysis, Energy Efficency, Environmental Performance, low-carbon, Regulation and policy, Sustainability

#37 Australian Timber Fibre Insulation Scoping Study

The Australian timber industry generates significant quantities of low-grade by-products, in the form of chips and sawdust, through the manufacturing of sawn and mass timber products. Most problematic among these are the H2 and H3 treated products that are not currently re-purposed into other products. In addition to this timber waste stream, there are large […]

Building Materials & Systems, Sustainable Materials & Products  ·  Hyne & Son, The University of Melbourne, Ultimate Windows

The Australian timber industry generates significant quantities of low-grade by-products, in the form of chips and sawdust, through the manufacturing of sawn and mass timber products. Most problematic among these are the H2 and H3 treated products that are not currently re-purposed into other products.

In addition to this timber waste stream, there are large amounts of other low-to-no value feedstock such as bark (currently exceeding 400,000 tonnes annually), single use timber pallets and other non-timber waste streams such as shredded plastic fibres. These by-products have the potential to be manufactured into higher value fibre insulation products for the Australian market. Currently, such products are not manufactured in Australia with importers servicing the market instead.

This presents a potential opportunity to divert considerable quantities of waste from landfill to produce a high performance, locally made, low carbon, natural fibre insulation product for the domestic and commercial building industry in Australia.

This project was a scoping study which assessed the techno-economic feasibility and opportunities associated with the creation of a timber fibre insulation manufacturing facility in Australia.

Researchers on project included: Dr Philip Christopher, Dr Benoit Belleville, Dr Neda Nematollahi,
Dr Lu Aye & Prof Tuan Ngo.

Australian Timber, Circular Economy, low-carbon, Manufacturing, Materials, re-cycle, re-use, recycling, Sustainable Building Materials, Timber Fibre, timber structures

#38 Victorian Government Digital Build – Translating theory into practice

This cross-sector collaboration aims to address the gap between theory and practice to facilitate greater uptake of digitally integrated building and offsite construction in Victoria. Three tranches of research will be used to build Victoria-specific evidence about digital building projects, practices and environments: 1) off-site and modular construction hubs2) benefits of digital build3) project applicability […]

Building Design and DFMA, Platforms and Process  ·  A.G. Coombs, BlueScope, Fleetwood Australia, Coresteel Buildings, Donovan Group, Victoria State Government – Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Lendlease Digital, Monash University, Salesforce.com, Inc., Sumitomo Forestry Australia, Master Builders Association Victoria, The University of Melbourne, Ynomia

This cross-sector collaboration aims to address the gap between theory and practice to facilitate greater uptake of digitally integrated building and offsite construction in Victoria. Three tranches of research will be used to build Victoria-specific evidence about digital building projects, practices and environments:

1) off-site and modular construction hubs
2) benefits of digital build
3) project applicability decision making framework.

Building on our partners’ expertise and project data, this project will integrate spatial, economic and socio-technical research to align government and industry imperatives for establishing and sustaining a robust, digitally integrated building industry in Victoria.

Researchers include: Prof Diego Ramirez-Lovering, Dr Lee-Anne Khor, Dr Duncan Maxwell, Dr Sahar Soltani, Dr Duncan Maxwell, Dr Laura Harper, Dr Ivana Kuzmanovska, A/Prof Lionel Frost, A/Prof Seamus OHanlon, Dr Claudio Labanca, A/Prof Gillian Oliver, Dr Abdallah Ghazlan, Dr Misita Anwar, Dr Caddie Gao, Prof Tuan Ngo, Dr Behzad Rismanchi, A/Prof Kourosh Khoshelham, A/Prof Tai Thai, Dr Lisa Kruesi, Dr Jocelyn Cranefield, Dr Siddhesh Godbole, Prof Tuan Ngo, Prof Nelson Lam, Dr Rackel San Nicolas & Dr Xuemei Liu.


DfMA, Digital Twin, Product Platform

#40 Business Model Innovation: The Platform Ecosystem

Building 4.0 was commissioned by the AMGC in collaboration with prefabAUS to research, workshop and develop a report for the future of the building industry in Australia, with a primary focus on Business Model Innovation. Workshops were conducted in four Australian cities—Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane—with participation from all stakeholders in the building value chain, such […]

PrefabAUS, Monash University, The University of Melbourne, AMGC Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre

Building 4.0 was commissioned by the AMGC in collaboration with prefabAUS to research, workshop and develop a report for the future of the building industry in Australia, with a primary focus on Business Model Innovation. Workshops were conducted in four Australian cities—Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane—with participation from all stakeholders in the building value chain, such as architects, engineers, consultants, contractors, governmental bodies, digital platform providers, and client body representatives. The cumulative participant count for the workshops was around 90. Through these one-of-a-kind workshops, concrete data was gathered for the first time on how participants in the industry value chain perceive such issues as business model innovation; changes to the structure of the building value chain; the positioning of their existing businesses within the value chain; operating models; and the adaptations required to embrace new ways of working. The final report is focused on presenting the platform ecosystem business model as an exemplar of business model innovation in the building industry and evaluating the desirability of such a business model. The report also outlines key recommendations for government, industry, peak industry bodies and academia. 

Project Lead: Claire O'Leary / Prof. Mathew Aitchison
Project Team: Prof. Chris Knapp, Dr. Duncan Maxwell, Dr. Priya Das, Dr. Siddhesh Godbole.

Workshop Participant Companies:
A.G. Coombs, AECOM, Amazon Web Services, Apex Wiring Solutions, Archistar, Artibus Innovation, AssetsLogics, AterlierTen, Aurecon Australia Pty Ltd, Bentley Homes, Bliss & Reels, Bluescope Steel, Bond University, Bryden Wood, Case Meallin, CNC Design Pty Ltd, Computational Design Lead, CPO Architects, Cross Laminated Offsite Solutions, Daryl Patterson P/L, DAS Studio, DB Architects, DCCEEW Energy Division, Department of Jobs Skills Industry and Regions, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions, Donovan Group, DSDILGP (Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning), Dynamic Steel Frame, Erilyan Pty Ltd, FAST FIX ARCHITECTURAL BUILDING SYSTEMS, Fleetwood, FormFlow, Future Map - Swinburne University, Gensler, Green Building Council of Australia, Grove Aust Pty. Ltd., Hansen Yucken, Hatch | Urban Solutions, Lendlease Digital, LIGHTWAVE Architecture, Mace, Master Builders, NSW Gov, Office of the Qld Government Architect, Populous, prefabAUS, Property Council of Australia, PT Blink, QUT, Simpel, SMEC, Taronga Ventures, Tech Central Alliance, The University of Queensland, Tribe Studio, University of Sydney, UTS - Design, Architecture and Building, Viridi Group, Weiss Insights, Xpede Pty Ltd

Monash Future Building Initiative

#41 New Materials for Windows of the Future – Phase 2

Double-glazed windows are a norm in many countries across Europe, Asia and North America due to their effective reduction of heat loss (-30%) compared to single -glazed windows. However, in Australia, only 10% (approx.) of current window installations are double-glazed. This is in part owing to the temperate climate across many parts of Australia, but […]

Building Materials & Systems  ·  The University of Melbourne, Ultimate Windows

Double-glazed windows are a norm in many countries across Europe, Asia and North America due to their effective reduction of heat loss (-30%) compared to single -glazed windows.

However, in Australia, only 10% (approx.) of current window installations are double-glazed. This is in part owing to the temperate climate across many parts of Australia, but equally the high cost of double glazing. Material science has made rapid progress over the last two decades resulting in the development of many new advanced materials and coatings. 

This project focussed on providing a critical assessment of the opportunities to apply new materials and coatings to reduce the cost, and improve the performance and ease of installation of double-glazed windows.

Image credit: Ultimate Windows

Researchers on this project include: Dr Greg Qiao, Tye Spierings, Daniel Lowden, Zak Ruitenberg, 
Carl Neilson,  Prof. Tuan Ngo, Joel Scofield

Windows

#42 Workflow Automation Tools for Home Designs Phase 1 Scoping Study

Volume builders are facing several challenges associated with the manual design of domestic homes where computational design automation can yield advantages, including many variations between house designs, regular design changes according to client requirements, time, resources and turnaround for each tender (cost estimation, drawings, material estimation and so on). An integrated and automated process would […]

Computational Design  ·  Bentley Homes, M-Modular, The University of Melbourne, Queensland University of Technology

Volume builders are facing several challenges associated with the manual design of domestic homes where computational design automation can yield advantages, including many variations between house designs, regular design changes according to client requirements, time, resources and turnaround for each tender (cost estimation, drawings, material estimation and so on).

An integrated and automated process would bring all stakeholders together at the conceptual design phase to achieve a more integrated solution.

The project is focusing on reviewing currently available software and design workflows to propose a cutting-edge workflow for the automation of the residential home design process.

Researchers include: Dr Tu Le, Ben Huynh, Dr Khuong Bui (Harry), Dr Tuan Nguyen, Prof
Tuan Ngo, Dr Sara Rashidian, Fereshteh Banakar & Prof Robin Drogemuller.

https://vimeo.com/592041847/bfc4188aa8

Automation Workflow, BIM, BIM-integrated detailing, Generative Design, Home Design

#44 Generative Architectural Design Engine

Advancements in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) models that produce graphics have dominated the discussion around computational creativity for the past 5 years. Generative neural networks, like DALLE-2 and Midjourney, can render remarkably detailed, intricate and convincing images, to the point where they can be perceived as ‘creative work’. This project aims to […]

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning  ·  Lendlease Digital, Monash University

Advancements in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) models that produce graphics have dominated the discussion around computational creativity for the past 5 years.

Generative neural networks, like DALLE-2 and Midjourney, can render remarkably detailed, intricate and convincing images, to the point where they can be perceived as 'creative work'. This project aims to leverage these advancements to support creative processes in a more complex field: architectural design.

Using a combination of qualitative methods and advanced ML and AI models, our goal is to develop and implement prototypical digital tools, capable of 'proposing' multiple viable architectural design drafts, based on design value and performance. They will be used as a starting point for designers to build upon.

Researchers include: Dr Camilo Cruz Gambardella, Prof Jianfei Cai, Prof Shane Murray, Prof Dinh Phung, Prof Jon McCormack, Prof Mel Dodd & Dr Duncan Maxwell.

Computational Creativity, digital design, Generative Design

#45 Prefab, Integrated Wall System: Phase 2 – Demonstration House and Market Study

There currently exists significant logistical and material shortage challenges in the residential home construction market. This coupled with a highly competitive environment has translated into most builders focusing on price of delivery, assuming this is the most important aspect to consumers. Builders are also subject to increasing risk with greater supply chain, labour and material […]

Bentley Homes, The University of Melbourne, Ultimate Windows

There currently exists significant logistical and material shortage challenges in the residential home construction market. This coupled with a highly competitive environment has translated into most builders focusing on price of delivery, assuming this is the most important aspect to consumers. Builders are also subject to increasing risk with greater supply chain, labour and material shortages hindering the on time and on budget delivery of homes.

This project tackles this problem through a two-prong approach (1) leveraging of existing work build a demonstration home that utilises a prefabricated wall system that delivers greater energy performance and lower supply chain risk with an integrated system and (2) to better understand the values of home buyers and the role that cost, energy performance and quality play in their decision making.

This project will see the materialisation of the high-performance wall system in the construction of demonstration home in Melbourne, showcasing constructability, performance and the aesthetics of the system.

Researchers include: Dr Philip Christopher, Prof Tuan Ngo, A/Prof Felix Hui, Dr Tu Le, Dr
Khuong Bui & Dr Lu Aye.

Prefabrication, Sustainability

#46 Data analytics for structural fibre resources optimisation

The ongoing digitalisation of manufacturing companies enables new potential for optimisation of their processes. With a growing number of sensors implemented in manufacturing systems such as modern large sawmills, a huge volume of data is generated. This data is an important resource to maintain competitiveness. This project used data analytics approaches to investigate relationships in […]

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, User Interface, Visualisation and Analytics  ·  Hyne & Son, Queensland University of Technology

The ongoing digitalisation of manufacturing companies enables new potential for optimisation of their processes. With a growing number of sensors implemented in manufacturing systems such as modern large sawmills, a huge volume of data is generated. This data is an important resource to maintain competitiveness.

This project used data analytics approaches to investigate relationships in the production database provided by Hyne Timber. We considered data at 3 different stages of the sawmilling process: the log merchandiser, the green mill, and the dry mill. We also considered how to link data across the various stages.

To develop predictive capabilities of key wood properties, we implemented 2 different machine learning models, and these approaches show promise. This scoping study uncovered a number of possible avenues for future investigations.

Researchers include: Dr Steven Psaltis, Dr Xiaoyu Wang, Prof Ian Turner & Rebecca Cherry.

Data Analytics, Machine Learning

#47 – Austrade: Future Building Technologies and Solutions

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) commissioned Building 4.0 CRC to profile Australia’s emerging building and construction technology capabilities, ecosystems and research strengths. As part of this research, Building 4.0 CRC conducted a mixture of desktop research, surveys and recorded interviews with 16 industry and ecosystem organisations, 11 research organisations, and 43 building and construction technology companies over […]

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) commissioned Building 4.0 CRC to profile Australia’s emerging building and construction technology capabilities, ecosystems and research strengths. As part of this research, Building 4.0 CRC conducted a mixture of desktop research, surveys and recorded interviews with 16 industry and ecosystem organisations, 11 research organisations, and 43 building and construction technology companies over a period of eight weeks. The final report contains a mixture of empirical data and bespoke insights to form a holistic overview of the national landscape. The 'Future Building Technologies and Solutions' report is now used as an internal tool for Austrade's international direct investment initiatives, highlighting Australia's national capabilities for the sector along with shaping their international direct investment campaigns. 

Project Lead: Isaac Coonan & Claire O'Leary

Contributors & Featured Organisations: 3DB, Archistar, Build-Apps, Fologram, Hindsite, Immersiv, Mastt, Matrak, ProcurePro, SimPro, SPACECUBE, Trendspek, Verton, Veyor, Allume Energy, Boom!, Calumino, Cognian, Exergenics, Ground Floor, Outbound, PAM Wayfinding, Propella.ai, Space Platform, UbiPark, Valte, Happy Co, Inndox, Little Hinges, Spacetoco, Third Place, Work Club Global, Patch, Openn, AsBuilt, Bridgit, Prop App, QFlow, Utecture, Forbury, Bond University, Holmesglen, University of Technology Queensland, University of Melbourne, Queensland University of Technology, Monash University, University of Queensland, Green Building Council of Australia, Bentley Homes, Bluescope Steel, Coresteel Buildings, Real Tech X, Fleetwood Australia, Greater Springfield, Hyne Timber, Lendlease, PieLab, Sumitomo Forestry, Proptech Association Australia, Ultimate Windows, Taronga Group, Viridi Group, The Australian Proptech Industry Map (APIM) 

#48 Scoping Study for Building the Future – Circular Economy – Shared Interest Project

With C&D materials accounting for 44% of all waste generated in Australia and the building sector’s energy consumption and CO2 emissions at a record high, the move to a circular economy presents a significant opportunity for positive change. Given the complex socio-political and economic factors at play, and the potentially competing needs of key stakeholders, […]

Circular Economy  ·  A.G. Coombs, BlueScope, Fleetwood Australia, Donovan Group, Holmesglen Institute, Hyne & Son, Lendlease Digital, Monash University, Queensland University of Technology, Sumitomo Forestry Australia, Master Builders Association Victoria, The University of Melbourne, uTecture Australia, Victorian Building Authority, VIRIDI Group, Verton, Ynomia, Populous, Stockland

With C&D materials accounting for 44% of all waste generated in Australia and the building sector’s energy consumption and CO2 emissions at a record high, the move to a circular economy presents a significant opportunity for positive change. Given the complex socio-political and economic factors at play, and the potentially competing needs of key stakeholders, this scoping study will form a solid foundation on which to plan the necessary steps and actions to enable the transition to a circular economy. Study findings and the resulting roadmap will be widely disseminated to study participants, industry stakeholders and government to catalyse meaningful action. 

Researchers on this project include: Professor Leonie Barner (Project Lead), Dr Judith Herbst, Dr Melissa Teo, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor Mirko Guaralda, Professor Tim Schork, Dr Sara Omrani, Associate Prof. Peter Graham, Dr Victor Bunster, Dr Duncan Maxwell, Prof. Amrik Sohal, Fernando Pavez Souper, Dr Phil Christopher, Prof Lu Aye, Prof Robert Crawford & Ali Pakdel.

QUT Centre for a Waste Free World

#50 Development of Artificial Neural Network and Automated Life Cycle Assessments for Cloud Based Residential Energy Estimations

This project will see the development of a next generation cloud based artificial neural network for new home operational energy efficiency and embodied carbon. It is intended that designers, builders and clients in both Australia and New Zealand will be able to utilise this engine to gain near real time feedback on the estimated energy […]

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Energy, Building Operation and Performance  ·  Monash University, The University of Melbourne, uTecture Australia

This project will see the development of a next generation cloud based artificial neural network for new home operational energy efficiency and embodied carbon. It is intended that designers, builders and clients in both Australia and New Zealand will be able to utilise this engine to gain near real time feedback on the estimated energy performance and embodied carbon of a new home empowering those in the industry to make better informed decisions when it comes to sustainability, cost and performance.

Researchers on this project include: Dr Phil Christopher (Project Lead), Dr Khuong Bui, Dr Victor Bunster, Prof Tuan Ngo and Dr Lu Aye, Gavin Tonnet, Brett Donovan & Edward Massey

Artificial Intelligence, Building Informatics and Analysis, Cloud Computing, Energy analysis, Energy Efficency, low-carbon, Building Life Cycle Assessment

#53 Process Engineering, and Design and Estimating Automation of Fleetwood’s Product Platform

This project aims to improve Fleetwood’s business by digitising the physical components and assets of their product platform, and automating their design and estimating processes, procedures and workflows. Expected operational benefits for Fleetwood include more efficient material use and production time, competitive market bidding and ease of installation while also minimising cost. Project team: Dr […]

Computational Design, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Platforms and Process  ·  Fleetwood Australia, Monash University, The University of Melbourne

This project aims to improve Fleetwood's business by digitising the physical components and assets of their product platform, and automating their design and estimating processes, procedures and workflows. Expected operational benefits for Fleetwood include more efficient material use and production time, competitive market bidding and ease of installation while also minimising cost.

Project team: Dr Siddesh Godbole, Dr Camilo Cruz, Associate Professor Tai Thai, Dr Victor Bunster, Professor Tuan Ngo, Professor Nelson Lam, Dr Duncan Maxwell, Dr Yousef Alqaryouti, Research Assistant (TBA)

Automation Workflow, BIM, Computational design, Design and estimating process, Digital assets, Revit-dynamo

#56 Accelerating B4.0CRC Translation and Impact

Building is one of the largest sectors of today’s global economy, representing 13% of GDP and employing 7% of the world’s working age population. So, it is essential that the building industry benefits from the latest research findings and new knowledge created through rigorous research initiatives. To enable industry to co-create and draw on Australian […]

Change Management  ·  A.G. Coombs, BlueScope, Cruxes Innovation, Sumitomo Forestry Australia, Master Builders Association Victoria, The University of Melbourne, Victorian Building Authority

Building is one of the largest sectors of today’s global economy, representing 13% of GDP and employing 7% of the world’s working age population. So, it is essential that the building industry benefits from the latest research findings and new knowledge created through rigorous research initiatives. To enable industry to co-create and draw on Australian research and technology, and for the Australian research ecosystem to engage with industry to conduct research, both sectors must upskill their researchers and industry professionals in collaboration, engagement and adoption of innovations across sectors.

The capability gaps for researchers and industry professionals increase the difficulties of adopting and translating research into industry impact and industry outcomes. They also hinder effective translation and investigation of industry problems in research projects. This project investigates the capability gaps that impact effective collaborations between researchers and building industry leaders for producing sector-level changes. We will investigate skills, behaviours and experiences that industry leaders apply while engaging with researchers to co-create research and practical knowledge that solves industry innovation challenges.

This research project aims to support the CRC's vision of developing a thriving Australian advanced manufacturing sector by enabling industry to direct and draw on Australian research through a scalable methodology that upskills researchers and industry professionals in collaboration, engagement and adoption of innovations. 

As part of this project, 2 professional development programs will be available for B4.0CRC researchers and industry partners.

Trek program for researchers and industry project leaders

This multi-week coaching program gives researchers and industry project leaders a methodology to validate the pathways to adoption for research and development activities. Click here for more information about the Trek Program. Registrations are now open.

Base program for early career researchers and students

This purpose-designed online learning program aims to develop researchers' skills for articulating the potential positive impact of their research, and provides a set of tools and a framework to plan for impactful research by engaging with industry, government and end-users. Click here for more information about the Base Program. Registrations are now open.

Research inputs will be gathered from program participants before and after the Base and Trek Programs for research report via a short survey by Associate Professor Niharika Garud (University of Melbourne). If you have any questions or would like to discuss how you can best engage with what is being offered through the project, please reach out to us via hello@cruxesinnovation.com or niharika.garud@unimelb.edu.au

Project team: Professor Daniel Samson, Professor Tuan Ngo, Research Assistants (TBC), Jonathan Lacey, Emily Chang

Capability Development, Impact

#57 Wind Comfort Simulation and New Engineering Design Process

For a typical engineering project, Engineering design (upstream) and operation downstream) commonly follow a linear process through multiple contracting parties. Such a process is inefficient and unsustainable for continuous improvement and IP retainment. To resolve such dilemmas in building wind comfort design, Lendlease Digital collaborates with Monash University to develop a new pathway by coupling […]

Computational Design  ·  Lendlease Digital, Monash University

For a typical engineering project, Engineering design (upstream) and operation downstream) commonly follow a linear process through multiple contracting parties. Such a process is inefficient and unsustainable for continuous improvement and IP retainment.

To resolve such dilemmas in building wind comfort design, Lendlease Digital collaborates with Monash University to develop a new pathway by coupling cutting-edge multidisciplinary technologies, including wind tunnel experiments, numerical simulations, and field testing.

The new pathway will improve efficiency by introducing a feedback loop to the system, to date an unprecedented approach to wind design for the built environment. Potentially, this pathway can also quickly transform comfort design within other engineering disciplines, for example, fire, water, and thermal.

Researchers include: Mr David Burton, Prof Mark Thompson, Dr Daniel Tudball Smith & Dr
Shibo Wang.

Aerodynamic, Computational fluid dynamics, Pedestrian winds, Wind engineering

#59 Innovative Steel–Timber–Concrete Composite StrongFloor

This project aims to develop a novel structural flooring system covering mid- to long-spans that: The initial phases are an extension of existing experimental knowledge and the development of reliable numerical and analytical models. Later stages of the project will include optimising the floor components. Researchers on this project include: Prof Tuan Ngo, Dr. Philip […]

Sustainable Materials & Products, Life Cycle Assessment, Building Design and DFMA, Product & Process Efficiency, Structural Optimisation, Computational Design, Prefabrication & Advanced Manufacturing  ·  VIRIDI Group, The University of Melbourne

This project aims to develop a novel structural flooring system covering mid- to long-spans that:

  • minimises material use
  • provides the possibility of fast and modular construction
  • reduces manufacturing and construction costs
  • improves space quality and aesthetic look
  • complies with the requirement of Australian standards and BCA.

The initial phases are an extension of existing experimental knowledge and the development of reliable numerical and analytical models. Later stages of the project will include optimising the floor components.

Researchers on this project include: Prof Tuan Ngo, Dr. Philip Christopher, Dr. Rackel San Nicolas,
Dr. Alireza Chniforush, Khin Sheng Chin.

Acoustic, BIM, BIM-integrated detailing, Bushfire, Computational design, DfMA, Engineered Wood Products, Flanking, hybrid steel-timber structures

#60 Mass Timber Wellness in Workplaces

Existing studies have indicated organisational and wellbeing benefits of masstimber buildings such as reduced illness, increased job performance and reducedstress and fatigue. In this study we aim to collect measured data, combining thedata with surveys and interviews to create metrics to demonstrate workplacewellness and productivity in mass timber buildings. This study searches economicbenefits of mass […]

Construction Safety and Wellbeing, Building Materials & Systems, Building Operation and Performance, Finance and Economics  ·  Monash University, Queensland University of Technology, Sumitomo Forestry Australia, VIRIDI Group

Existing studies have indicated organisational and wellbeing benefits of mass
timber buildings such as reduced illness, increased job performance and reduced
stress and fatigue. In this study we aim to collect measured data, combining the
data with surveys and interviews to create metrics to demonstrate workplace
wellness and productivity in mass timber buildings. This study searches economic
benefits of mass timber buildings by analysing health-related cost savings,
performance improvements, reduced absenteeism and workplace engagement.

Researchers on the project include: Dr Stephen Whyte, Professor Uwe Dulleck, Dr Ben Chan, Dr Jenny Zhou & Dr Duncan Maxwell.

QUT Centre for Behavioural Economics, Society & Technology (BEST)

Environmental Performance, Materials, Sustainable Building Materials, timber, wellbeing

#61 Building Productivity – Product, Process, People

The common adage “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” can be applied to buildingproducts, processes and projects. Current data capture in construction practice is typically scarce,inaccurate, lagging and non-standardised. Through the lenses of product, process and people,Project #61 investigates how the capture, analysis and use of data can contribute to wastereduction, quality […]

Building Materials & Systems, Building Design and DFMA, Product & Process Efficiency, Construction Management, Contracts and Procurement, Supply Chain Management, Logistics, Platforms and Process, Digital Project Management  ·  Lendlease Digital, Monash University

The common adage “If you can't measure it, you can't manage it” can be applied to building
products, processes and projects. Current data capture in construction practice is typically scarce,
inaccurate, lagging and non-standardised. Through the lenses of product, process and people,
Project #61 investigates how the capture, analysis and use of data can contribute to waste
reduction, quality assurance and improvement of efficiency and effectiveness in the building
industry. The project aims to understand:

(1) What is impact of people (human factors/aspects) on the process and product efficiency?

(2) What kind of data is needed?

(3) When is it to be collected and by whom?

(4) Which methodologies, tools and technologies would be best suited?

Project leads: Dr Duncan Maxwell, Dr Rachel Couper

Project team: Dr Victor Bunster, Dr Lee-Anne Khor, Dr Laura Harper, Dr Camilo Cruz Gambardella, Dr Sahar Soltani, Dr Yihai Fang, Prof. Amrik Sohal, Mohaimeen Islam, Fernando Pavez Souper, Miyami Pathiranage

Building systems, Construction Management, Platforms, Process efficiency, Procurement, Productivity

#66 Future of construction education

This research will contribute to the body of knowledge on the future skills required for the building and construction industry and the role of technology and automation in meeting those skills demands. The research will provide valuable insights for higher education institutions in the development of contemporary, forward-looking industrialised construction degrees. It will also have […]

Future of Work & Industrial Relations, Culture and Diversity  ·  Holmesglen Institute, A.G. Coombs, Lendlease Digital, Nexans, Sumitomo Forestry Australia, Victorian Building Authority, Master Builders Association Victoria, Fleetwood Australia, Monash University, The University of Melbourne

This research will contribute to the body of knowledge on the future skills required for the building and construction industry and the role of technology and automation in meeting those skills demands.

The research will provide valuable insights for higher education institutions in the development of contemporary, forward-looking industrialised construction degrees. It will also have broader implications for workforce development in the building and construction industry, highlighting the skills and training required to meet the industry's changing landscape.

The project will have implications for construction education in Victoria and nationally.

Project team: Dr Henry Pook, Dr Sam Duncan, Cedomir Gladovic, Dr Duncan Maxwell, Dr Laura Harper, A/Prof. Ari Seligmann, Prof. Mel Dodd, A/Prof. Maryam Gusheh, Prof. Tuan Ngo, A/Prof. Felix Hui, Dr Robert Moehler, Jane Dash, PhD Students TBC

Capability Development, Human Resources, Workforce Management

#68 Development of a solution for high-rise mass timber residence through a Post & Plate system – Phase 1 feasibility study

This project centres on an innovative project to bring the Post & Plate timber structural system to Australia’s multi-residential sector. The project comprises 4 elements: The research is designed for rapid deployment and aims to revolutionise high-density, sustainable living in Australia. Project team: Dr Alireza Chiniforush, Richard Nero, Karl-Heinz Weiss

Building Materials & Systems, Construction Management, Prefabrication & Advanced Manufacturing  ·  Sumitomo Forestry Australia, Hyne & Son, The University of Melbourne

This project centres on an innovative project to bring the Post & Plate timber structural system to Australia's multi-residential sector. The project comprises 4 elements:

  • Reviewing in-depth precedent studies from around the world to extract critical engineering, compliance and construction insights
  • Understanding Australian building typologies
  • Conducting a targeted engineering and compliance review
  • Making data-driven recommendations to adapt the Post & Plate system to Australia’s unique architectural, regulatory and sustainability needs.

The research is designed for rapid deployment and aims to revolutionise high-density, sustainable living in Australia.

Project team: Dr Alireza Chiniforush, Richard Nero, Karl-Heinz Weiss

Building systems, Building Transformation, Construction Management, Engineered Wood Products, Housing, timber structures

Light House Project #1: Monash Smart Manufacturing Hub (mSMH) – A Digital Twin Living Lab

Digital twins are an emerging technology with the potential to revolutionise the building industry by digitising the operation and maintenance of physical assets. However, several challenges need to be overcome before their widespread adoption in the built environment. The Monash Smart Manufacturing Hub (mSMH) aims to tackle these challenges through the creation and utilisation of […]

Digital Twins & 3D Modelling, IoT, Sensors and Construction Tech, User Interface, Visualisation and Analytics, Indoor Environmental Quality  ·  Amazon Web Services, Monash University

Digital twins are an emerging technology with the potential to revolutionise the building industry by digitising the operation and maintenance of physical assets. However, several challenges need to be overcome before their widespread adoption in the built environment. The Monash Smart Manufacturing Hub (mSMH) aims to tackle these challenges through the creation and utilisation of a digital twin for the hub. This endeavor will focus on assessing the performance of the digital twin by using the built environment's resilience and well-being as a case study. The project entails enhancing the existing design and deployment of a multimodal sensing network, a data engineering and analytics platform, domain-specific data analytics and simulation applications, as well as a front-end portal for spatial visualisation and interaction with sensing data and simulation results. 

Researchers on this Project Include: Dr Yihai Fang, Dr Jenny Zhou, Dr Duncan Maxwell, Dr Sahar Soltani & Prof. Hai Vu.

Building Operations, Data Analytics and Simulation, Digital Twins, Multimodal Sensing Network, Resilience and Wellbeing

Light House Project #3: NCHA Independent Living Lab

The NCHA Independent Living Lab is a piece of research infrastructure within the NCHA’s Simulated Environments stream of work. The aim of this Living Lab is to support research and related activities to deliver the NCHA vision and aims, by providing a simulated home environment for multidisciplinary research, testing and demonstration of integrated spatial, assistive […]

Building Design and DFMA, Prefabrication & Advanced Manufacturing, Customers and Markets  ·  Fleetwood Australia, Monash University

The NCHA Independent Living Lab is a piece of research infrastructure within the NCHA’s Simulated Environments stream of work. The aim of this Living Lab is to support research and related activities to deliver the NCHA vision and aims, by providing a simulated home environment for multidisciplinary research, testing and demonstration of integrated spatial, assistive technology, and care models for healthy living and ageing.  To ensure the NCHA vision and aims are delivered from the outset, the B4.0CRC Lighthouse Project (LHP#03) has been developed over the last 9 months - to focus on the design and construction of the Independent Living Lab. It will take advantage of a rare opportunity to test research objectives of the NCHA through the procurement of the Living Lab itself. This aligns with key research questions about how modular and prefabricated production can create new innovations in living environments for ageing. 

Partners & Stakeholders: Fleetwood Australia, Monash University: Urban Lab, Future Building Initiative, Design Health Collab School of Primary Allied Health Care (RAIL Lab), Monash University Buildings and Property Division,  Peninsula Health Allied Health Team.

Research Teams include:

Stream One: Associate Professor Leah Heiss, MADA Design Health Collab (Dr Troy McGee and Dr Myra Thiessen)/School of Primary and Allied Health Care RAIL Research Centre and Occupational Therapy Departments (Associate Professor Libby Callaway and Dr Linda Barclay)/Peninsula Health Allied Health Team (Ms Pip Veerman) 

Stream Two: Professor Mel Dodd, MADA Urban Lab/Maryam Gusheh, School of Primary and Allied Health Care RAIL Research Centre and Occupational Therapy Department (Associate Professor Libby Callaway and Dr Eli Chu)/Peninsula Health Allied Health Team (Ms Pip Veerman) 

Stream Three: Dr Rachel Couper, MADA FBI Team with Dr Duncan Maxwell.

Monash Future Building Initiative

Aged Care, Home Design, Housing, Industrialised Construction

Light House Project #6: Malvern East Apartment Development

Although significant claims exist with regards to the benefits of utilising offsite construction, often, these are anecdotal, context-specific, and challenging to quantify in comparison to business-as-usual. Previous CRC project findings suggest that the benefits of offsite construction are often not realised because the design consultants, developers, and builders do not effectively collaborate to deliver integrated […]

Property Development, Customers and Markets, Indoor Environmental Quality, Life Cycle Assessment, Sustainable Materials & Products, Platforms and Process, Building Design and DFMA, Prefabrication & Advanced Manufacturing, Product & Process Efficiency  ·  Monash University, Sumitomo Forestry Australia, The University of Melbourne

Although significant claims exist with regards to the benefits of utilising offsite construction, often, these are anecdotal, context-specific, and challenging to quantify in comparison to business-as-usual. Previous CRC project findings suggest that the benefits of offsite construction are often not realised because the design consultants, developers, and builders do not effectively collaborate to deliver integrated solutions.

This project will document, benchmark, and suggest improvements to realise the benefits in offsite construction using an offsite timber pilot project in Malvern East in order to quantify benefits and recommend improvements.

Research streams will focus on Integrated Design (Design for Manufacture and Assembly -DfMA) considerations, Life Cycle Analysis, Building Performance (Acoustic, Vibrations and Indoor Environmental Quality), Market Perceptions and Digital Project Management (10D-Building Information Modeling) to holistically demonstrate the value of the off-site timber approach in building construction.

Researchers on this project include: Sahar Soltani (Project Lead), Ali Rashidi, Duncan Maxwell, Victor Bunster, Camilo Cruz Gambardella, Jean-Paul Rollo, Jenny Zhou, Victor Chang, Mohaimeen Islam, Miyami Sinhala Pathiranag, Dilshi Dharmarathna, Tuan Ngo, Lu Aye, Tuan Nguyen, Xuemei Liu, Bernard Gibson, Alireza Chiniforush, Richard Nero, Siddhesh Godbole.

Monash Future Building Initiative

10D BIM, Building Information Modelling, Construction Management, Construction Monitoring, Industrialised Construction, Integrated Design, Prefabrication, Visualisation

Light House Project #7: Platform Delivery of Affordable Housing

This project centres on a collaborative affordable housing development in Western Australia, founded on lead partner LTCM’s patented offsite construction approach. It aims to showcase speed, efficiency, waste reduction and sustainability in construction using a unified digital platform. Key objectives include: – demonstrating sustainability improvements– validating digital construction processes– quantifying value gains through the offsite, […]

Supply Chain Management, Logistics, Building Materials & Systems, Building Design and DFMA, Prefabrication & Advanced Manufacturing, Construction Management, Digital Project Management, Sustainable Materials & Products, Energy, Life Cycle Assessment  ·  BlueScope, LTCM, Nexans

This project centres on a collaborative affordable housing development in Western Australia, founded on lead partner LTCM's patented offsite construction approach. It aims to showcase speed, efficiency, waste reduction and sustainability in construction using a unified digital platform. Key objectives include:

– demonstrating sustainability improvements
– validating digital construction processes
– quantifying value gains through the offsite, platform approach.

Specific research streams delve into value analysis using Building Information Modelling (BIM), waste reduction through increased BIM usage, embodied carbon quantification using BIM and supply chain efficiency enhancement via shared Digital Twin technology. These streams aim to uncover correlations, efficiencies and insights for sustainable, cost-effective construction. 

Project team: Prof. Nelson Lam, Prof. Lu Aye, Assoc. Prof. Tai Thai, Dr Xuemei Liu, Dr Alireza Chiniforush, Dr Siddhesh Godbole

Associated Organisations: Steel Framing Australia

Affordable Housing, Home Design, Housing, Platforms

Light House Project #13: Mixed Reality Carpentry Demonstration

This project harnesses Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to enhance prefabricated component assembly in carpentry and construction. By integrating AR/VR tools like Twinbuild by Fologram, the project aims to improve training and upskilling process, assembly instructions, spatial awareness, quality control, and collaboration. A real-time assembly of a complex timber pavilion at the Building […]

User Interface, Visualisation and Analytics, Construction Management, Building Design and DFMA, Construction Safety and Wellbeing, Digital and Automated Fabrication (Robotics), Digital Twins & 3D Modelling, Prefabrication & Advanced Manufacturing  ·  Holmesglen Institute, Monash University, Ynomia

This project harnesses Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to enhance prefabricated component assembly in carpentry and construction. By integrating AR/VR tools like Twinbuild by Fologram, the project aims to improve training and upskilling process, assembly instructions, spatial awareness, quality control, and collaboration. A real-time assembly of a complex timber pavilion at the Building 4.0 CRC Annual Conference will showcase these technologies' efficacy in addressing construction challenges.

Project leads: Dr Sahar Soltani, Dr Duncan Maxwell
Researchers: Lisa Giusti Gestri, Darcy Zelenko

Third party partner: Fologram

3D Visualisation and Modelling, Augmented Reality, Building systems, Construction Management, Construction Safety, Digital Twins, Mixed Reality, Training and upskilling, Virtual Reality

Light House Project #28: The application of computer vision to measure productivity and enhance safety on construction sites

The current method of recording productivity on construction sites relies heavily on manual inputs limiting both accuracy and efficiency. This project will explore more automated and technologically advanced solutions that can provide real-time, accurate and unbiased data on on-site performance. Such innovations can not only streamline the data collection process but also free up labour […]

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, IoT, Sensors and Construction Tech, Digital Project Management  ·  The University of Melbourne, Sightdata

The current method of recording productivity on construction sites relies heavily on manual inputs limiting both accuracy and efficiency. This project will explore more automated and technologically advanced solutions that can provide real-time, accurate and unbiased data on on-site performance. Such innovations can not only streamline the data collection process but also free up labour resources to focus on essential construction activities, ultimately leading to more efficient and reliable project outcomes.

Project team: Prof. Tuan Ngo, Dr Paul Reichl, Dr Amir Soroush, Ed Muthiah, Jay Humble, Research Assistants (TBC)

Associated organisations: LXRP

Artificial Intelligence, Construction Safety, Internet of Things, IOT, Machine Learning, Site Safety