The research undertakings of Construction Innovation occur in one of three programs, led by Program Directors and Deputy Program Directors.
To improve the long-term effectiveness, competitiveness and dynamics of a viable construction industry in the Australian and international contexts through:
The operational strategy to achieve the objective is:
The Program recognises the need for a .bigger picture. reflecting the industry.s continuing shift towards accommodating the rigours of more customer-led thinking by adopting a more strategic, futures-orientated approach. The priorities listed below, have been set in this context and are intended to respond to national and global market pressures for business innovation; the needs of the industry and its customers for business improvement and Government Policy.
Research is currently undertaken in the areas of innovation, human resources and client interaction. The research is empirical in nature drawing on case studies, field tests, and relevant literature. The experience of industry practitioners, particularly Construction Innovation Participants, is the main source of data capture.
The measures are based on those enterprises engaging with Construction Innovation. An overarching key output will be to create internationally recognised best in class contractor, consultant, policy maker and regulator from amongst the industry Participants.
To drive healthy and sustainable constructed assets and optimise the environmental impact of built facilities through:
The key challenge of Triple Bottom Line (TBL) accounting for built environment assets, virtual building technologies for design performance assessment prior to construction, and valuing human health and productivity benefits of intelligent indoor environments, requires a research program capable of spanning scales ranging from individual material components . the basic building blocks of built assets . to segments of an entire urban system. Buildings, infrastructures and subdivisions are all .systems of bits. . objects that have TBL attributes (e.g. cost, environmental, health and well-being) and behaviours (life cycle and contextual) capable of being modelled with a view to delivering enhanced levels of (sustainable) performance.
To satisfactorily address sustainability challenges of the built environment requires an integrated, whole-of-system perspective, where the key elements relate to:
To deliver project value for stakeholders for the whole-of-life, from business need, design and construction through to ownership, asset management and reuse through:
As this program is concerned with designing, building, delivering, operating and disposal of building facilities and civil infrastructure, the projects reflect the challenges across this process. Projects range from data mining to support design, to decision tools to assist in choice of delivery methods, to development of performance measures to evaluate success.
Two projects, Managing Information Flows with Models and Virtual Environments, and Project Team Integration: Communication, Coordination and Decision Support, are concerned with developing information and communication technologies (ICT) to support the facility design phase and improve team integration. Benefits will be improved efficiency in design and construction on site by significantly reducing design time providing improvements in the efficiency of construction and more effective project management. A third project Contract Planning Workbench is exploring the option of using Industry Foundation Classes (IFCs) as the basis for developing first draft construction schedules. This would speed up the process and may also permit interface with existing scheduling software to provide 4D visual presentation.
The effective design of assets, as well as their maintenance and efficient operation is of interest to all owners and tenants. Therefore we have two projects focused on The Evaluation of Functional Performance in Commercial Buildings and an Investment Decision Framework for Civil Infrastructure Asset Management. These projects incorporate the economic, financial, environmental and social factors into models which support improved decision making. Another project with similar objectives concentrates on developing a decision support tool for the use of Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Composites in Rehabilitation of Concrete. These new materials promise great savings in time and long term performance; however they are at present expensive and need to be used judiciously. We are interested in their applications for remediation in the civil infrastructure sector for example in roads and bridges. Life Cycle Modelling and Design Knowledge Development in Virtual Environments is a project which will make available maintenance performance data to designers to enable more informed choice and design of materials and detailing at early design stage.
Finally since the project delivery process is fraught with challenges in organisation, process and performance, three projects investigate decision methodologies for achieving value in project delivery, together with judgement techniques to support choice of participants and Project Diagnostics which will develop a protocol for investigating problems and diagnosing solutions. At the same time we will devote attention to the development of robust and useful performance indicators.
ICT is the fundamental enabler of process re-engineering in the property and construction industry. The ICT Platform will promote open standards using international leading edge approaches to integrate across the three core programs for effective management of built assets from inception for whole of life.
The ICT Platform will act as a driver for change and integrator across the Construction Innovation's Research Programs. It will identify and promote opportunities for the uptake of advanced ICT solutions through programs and projects with Construction Innovation partners and the property and construction industry.