Property Australia

Revolutionary design ahead with Building 4.0


Monash University, Lendlease, the University of Melbourne and Donovan Group are leading a $28 million funding bid that could reduce construction waste by 80 per cent and emissions by 50 per cent.

The $28 million funding bid, through the Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Program, has the potential to position Australia as a leader in advanced manufacturing of buildings.

If successful, the Building 4.0 CRC research initiative will use digital solutions to build faster, cheaper and smarter.

Monash University’s Professor Mathew Aitchison, interim CEO of Building 4.0 CRC, says research and development undertaken in the CRC will “demonstrate that the building industry can come together to solve the big challenges of our times” and deliver buildings “that are more efficient, cheaper and sustainable, without sacrificing quality”.

Aitchison also says the CRC aims to “transform the way the industry collaborates, which we think is the key to unlocking major improvements in the sector”.

Building 4.0 CRC will bring together expertise in the fields of architecture, design, planning, construction, engineering, business, information technology and law to develop industry-wide practices and protocols to transform the entire sector.

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

Bill Ruh, Lendlease’s CEO of digital, says the CRC is “a great opportunity for us to not only test and use technology to develop new ways of working, but to find ways of working collaboratively with the broader industry”.

Using digital technology to create “high-fidelity, fully detailed, complete and absolute models” will mean “accuracy and speed of construction will be second to none,” Ruh adds.

Among the outcomes the CRC hopes to achieve include a 37.5 per cent reduction in project costs through digital technology and off-site manufacturing, as well as a 40 per cent decrease in project delays.

The CRC has also set its sights on slashing construction waste by 80 per cent and emissions by 50 per cent.

Among the bid partners are a swag of Property Council members – Lendlease, Monash University, University of Melbourne, CSR, Schiavello Manufacturing – as well as the Green Building Council of Australia, Standards Australia and several state governments.

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