Two research projects in sustainable construction will receive a boost after the federal government announced a cash injection of almost $50 million into the developments.

In her latest announcement, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology said the government would invest $28 million and $21 million in support for the Building 4.0 CRC and the SmartCrete CRC respectively.

Backed by 32 companies and organisations including Monash University, Melbourne University, Lend Lease and others, the Building 4.0 CRC aims to reduce projects cost by 30 percent, cut building energy consumption and project timeframes by up 40 percent, reduce CO2 emissions by up to 50 percent and eliminate up to 80 percent of construction waste.

Its three research programs aim to:

  • Improve practices, culture and protocols within the industry through skills development, policy/regulation improvement, supply/value chain connection and consumer and market engagement.
  • Leverage technology, data science and AI in development of new building processes and techniques
  • Transform building ‘hardware’ and processes and their integration with the digital and sectoral programs to improve building development, design, production, assembly, operation, maintenance and end-of-life.

The SmartCrete CRC, meanwhile, aims to improve the cost, allocation and durability of concrete; promote whole-of-live asset management via remote monitoring of concrete structures; improve supply chain sustainability and reduce the carbon footprint of concrete.

Andrews said both CRCs provided invaluable research

“Affordable, sustainable and safe housing is something that concerns all Australians,” she said of the Building 4.0 CRC.

“It’s vital we do what we can to make construction more efficient and cost-effective, without reducing quality.”

“Making sure our homes and apartments are built to the highest standards is particularly important given recent issues which have disrupted the lives of Aussie families and impacted confidence in the sector.”

As for the SmartCrete CRC, Andrews says concrete remains essential to building and infrastructure projects and the Centre had the potential to help drive down costs without compromising on safety.