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August 2005, Issue 16

Construction Innovation partners in progress:

AustralianBuilding Codes Board (ABCB), Arup Australasia, Bovis Lend Lease,Brisbane City Council (BCC), Building Commission (Victoria), BrookwaterJV, CSIRO, DEM, John Holland, Qld Building Services Authority (QBSA),Qld Dept Main Roads (QDMR), Qld Dept Public Works (QDPW), Qld DeptState Development and Innovation (QDSDI), Qld University of Technology(QUT), Rider Hunt, RMIT, The University of Newcastle (UN), TheUniversity of Sydney (US), University of Western Sydney (UWS), WoodsBagot.




Our first Strategic Planning Workshop for our newCRC took place in the nation's capital on Thursday 28 July. Joint inputon the day from 35 representatives from committed existing andprospective new partners provided confirmation that the thrust of ourresearch activities to date was indeed hitting the mark - butthat a stronger emphasis on facilities management and communication andcollaboration would enhance this. Additionally, a stronger focus oninnovative skills development in the context of an industry dominatedby SMEs was recommended. Six working groups lead by Industry membershave been formed to advance the more detailed development of theRenewal Bid:
1. Business Model 2. Industry Context
3. Environmental Sustainability
4. Procurement and Facilities Management
5. Communication and Collaboration
6. Skills Development and Uptake
These groups will now convene this next week toflesh out these themes for the upcoming Second Strategic PlanningWorkshop to be held on 6 October 2005 in Melbourne.

The successes of the CRC project Investment Decision Framework for Civil Infrastructure Asset Managementwere celebrated at the recent 2005 Queensland Engineering ExcellenceAwards. In the category of Research, Development and Innovation theproject received a High Commendation at the gala awards night held 22July at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. This projectcontributes on many levels to greater cost effectiveness in asset datacollection of our road network. This award is tremendous recognition ofthe outcomes being achieved through the collaborative participation ofindustry, government and research at our CRC (read more later in thisissue). Congratulations to Arun Kumar from RMIT and his team,particularly the prime industry partners in QDMR.

Congratulations are also due to a Construction Innovation team who won an award for their marketing plan in the course "Financing Innovation Growth" (more on that later in this issue).

Target groups
Our international conference on the Gold Coast12-14 March, 2006 will be an opportunity for International Council forResearch and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB) targetgroups to come together.

The newly formed 'Critical Infrastructure Protection-BuiltEnvironment' and has been designated TG60. This TG will collaborate onthe technical, economic and policy issues of critical infrastructureprotection within the built environment. It will take an 'all-hazards'approach to the subject and therefore include protection from naturaldisasters, human error and terrorism. Some outputs in the initialthree-year period include a compendium of definitions and concepts,best-practice examples, database on related events and material,framework for an international state of the art report.

TG58 'Clients and Construction Innovation' will also meet. This TGwill examine the ability of clients to drive innovation in the propertyand construction industry through their project delivery team,purchasing power, through documentation standards and developingregulations and codes and other modes of influencing industryinnovation. The forms of client influence on innovation across thesupply chain will be evaluated. It will equally engagethe industry and the research community to ensure a powerfulblend for two-way knowledge transfer. 

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Project saving dollars on our pavements awarded high praise

Investment Decision Framework for Civil Infrastructure Asset Management receiveda High Commendation at the 2005 Queensland Engineering ExcellenceAwards, held 22 July at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

With $16 million spent every day on road maintenance in Australiaand roads assets valued at around $140 billion, finding ways to makemore effective investment decisions has the potential for huge savings.

At Construction Innovation a collaborative project team leadby Professor Arun Kumar of RMIT recognised the need to betterunderstand the ability of Queensland's $25 billion road network toserve the State into the future and ensure our roads continue toprovide service, particularly to the heavy transport industry.

"Pavement strength data is one of the most important but also one ofthe most expensive measures to obtain for assessing road condition andfuture maintenance requirements", says project team member NeilRobertson, Manager of Road Asset Management Systems, QueenslandDepartment of Main Roads.



"One method of measuring it is with a device known as a FallingWeight Deflectometer (FWD) which uses readings from a series ofgeophones t detect the very small deflection in the pavement surfaceafter a very heavy load is dropped on it. This deflection data alsoprovides details on thickness and future load carrying capacity and isconventionally collected along roads at 200 metre intervals", heexplains.

Analysisof data from FWDs by the project team showed that road authoritiescould actually reduce their sampling rates by 75 to 80 per centcompared to current practices by testing at much greater intervals ofaround 1000 metres. Neil Robertson sums up the project's achievement,"Through this research we've attained a four-fold increase in thelength of network we could test for the same cost. Or to put it anotherway, this adjusted sampling plan for the road network makes it anaffordable exercise by effectively saving between $3.5 and $4million on state-wide data collection costs. And that's withoutlosing the quality, reliability or statistical relevance of the data".

The team also developed methods that allow road authorities toproduce budget estimates for a project life-cycle cost with definedlevels of confidence.

Construction Innovation partners that collaborated on thisproject are Arup, John Holland, the QueenslandDepartments of Main Roadand Public Works, RMIT and the Queensland University of Technology.

Constructing relationships for better project delivery

Relationship management is touted as introducing a fresh approach tofacilitating cooperation between parties involved in major contracts.Not all are convinced of this though, and reports on the success ofcontracting approaches such as partnering and alliancing vary greatly.

Differences in the culture of organisations involved in construction projects largely explains this mixed response. The CRC for Construction Innovationbrought together a project team under the title "Project Delivery -Facilitating a Change in Culture" to look at current attitudes andperceptions of relationship management, and examine how anorganisation's culture can be managed to realise the potential benefitsof relationship management.

One aspect of the project led by Prof. Steve Rowlinson,a visiting professor at Queensland University of Technology, involvesassisting the Queensland Departments of Main Roads (QDMR) and PublicWorks (QDPW) develop changes in their organisations' culture andattitude that support relationship contracting. This will involveimplementing factors such as mutually agreed and understood objectives,a process for resolving problems quickly and cooperatively and aculture that fosters continuous, measurable improvement. Collaboratingpartner QDMR has seen the benefits of the project through an improvedunderstanding of why some projects have succeeded and others failed,especially as the Department is increasingly looking at non-pricecriteria in determining tenders.

Another aspect of the project assesses the culture, performance,innovation and flexibility of relationship contracting within theBrisbane Water Enviro Alliance (Brisbane City Council and JohnHolland). The Alliance has successfully used activities such asindividual coaching, team-based exercises and innovation-focusedworkshops to build teamwork.

Beneficial outcomes for industry from this project include:

  • a toolkit to assist organisations develop a culture that fosters relationship contracting
  • a syllabus for a subject module within a Masters in Project Management program
  • a report on best practice in relationship management, to be released after the conclusion of the project
  • guidelines for relationship management in projects, tailored to the participants, and
  • ongoing education and training programs.

Partners collaborating on this project are the John Holland, QDMR,QDPW, BCC, QUT, RMIT, The University of Newcastle and CSIRO.

LCAdesign features at green conference
(by Deborah Singerman)

Construction Innovation's Development Manager Peter Scuderi spoke about the LCADesignenvironmental assessment software to an audience including architects,engineers and local government planners at the recent Green BuildingConference in Sydney organised by the Institute for InternationalResearch.

The tool is an example of the centre's commitment to an informationand communication technologies (ICTs) platform and uses internationallyrecognised Industry Foundation Classes developed by the InternationalAlliance for Interoperability to transfer data straight from 3D CADmodelling to a constantly updated lifecycle inventory of buildingproducts and materials. Peter is an IAI (International Alliance forInteroperability) Australasian Chapter Board member and coordinator ofthe IAI International Education and Training Group

The inventory includes Australian and international data, the formerdeveloped to represent typical industry practice, technology, productand geographical coverage from public, commercial-in-confidence,industry and professional sources, and personal experience.

LCADesign links the inventory to dimensions and quantitiesvia a building product calculator to provide an eco-profile comparingenvironmental impacts across the whole building supply chain frominfrastructure (e.g. transport, forestry, power, water), though bulk(e.g. concrete, clay, structural steel), shapes (e.g. cables, fittings)to items (e.g. fibres and fabrics, paints, sealants). In this way, LCADesign will help designers, specifiers and people procuring products reduce the environmental impact of commercial buildings.

Del Jones (QDPW), Philippa Watson and Pene Mitchell (CSIRO) are thekey researchers who have worked on developing the Life Cycle Indices(LCI)database that is at the back end of LCADesign.

LCADesign is being trialled across Australia with industry partners.

Project partners are Arup, Bovis Lend Lease, Woods Bagot, ABCB,Building Commission, QDPW, CSIRO, QUT, RMIT and the University ofWestern Sydney.

Our guest writer Deborah Singerman ( to a number of industry and mainstream publications onsustainability and practice issues including Construction Contractor,Indesign, Architectural Review and the Sydney Morning Herald's Domain.She was formerly editor of Building Products News and SPECnews, aquarterly from NATSPEC - the national building specification system.



(information submitted by Delwyn Jones, QDPW)
A Construction Innovation teamrecently undertook the Queensland Government Department of StateDevelopment and Innovation supported course "Financing InnovationGrowth". The course was developed and delivered by Achaeus Pty Ltd tothose seeking to commercialise new information technology. Thecoursework provided pattendees with skills to develop a strategicbusiness plan for a new business opportunity.
The team comprised Peter Scuderi, Phillipa Watson,Delwyn Jones and Pene Mitchell. At the end of the course, there werefour awards including for Best Presentation, Financial Plan, MarketingPlan and Overall Winner. The Construction Innovation team wonthe award for the Best Marketing Plan and Overall was positioned thirdout of 16 teams. The first and second place getters were actuallyoperating small businesses.

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Our Second International Conference, Clients Driving Innovation -Moving Ideas into Practice will be held on Australia's Gold Coast from12-14 March 2006 in association with the International Council forResearch and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB),International Construction Research Alliance (ICALL) and theInternational Alliance for Interoperability (IAI).

Last year we stamped our mark on the national andinternational scene with 210 attendees from 12 countries benefitingfrom the quality of industry case studies and leading-edge research.Our 2006 Conference will build on this success in focussing on thetheme of moving ideas into practice. John Holland Board Chair JanetHolmes Court and Queensland Premier Peter Beattie have alreadyconfirmed their attendance as key speakers at this event.

We are delighted to have the early support of Goldsponsors Queensland Department of Public Works and Aus-PeBBu(Australian Performance Based Building Network). Other sponsors includethe Australian Greenhouse Office, Australian Institute of ProjectManagement, QDMR and the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors.

Further sponsorship opportunities exist and weencourage you to consider this excellent opportunity to maximise yourexposure to an audience of up to 250 key delegates through any of oursponsorship packages. We also encourage you to consider displayingyour information, services and products as the Conference exhibitionwill be an integral part of this event, and the location of theexhibition will ensure maximum exposure.

EXTENSION TO DATE FOR ABSTRACTS Call for Abstracts now due Friday 19 August 2005

The submission deadline for abstracts is fastapproaching and you are encouraged to act now. Full details, includingConference themes and an abstract template are available at

For further information on this important industry event, visit or contact Louise Adams, Special Projects Officer -, telephone +61 3 5983 2180. Registration will be available on-line from the end of August 2005.

The full proceedings from our 2004 International Conference are now on-line.

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Psychology of environmental construction

Colin Greville is in the second year of his PhD under a CRC for Construction Innovation scholarship and is based at the University of Western Sydney He summarises his research in brief as follows.
The broad area of interest is the 'psychology of environmentalconstruction' - examining the thought processes behind energyefficiency in residential dwellings from the client (homeowner)perspective. Of particular interest is discovering the psychologicallink between initial cost outlays and energy efficient design indwellings, that is, how and why homeowners (separately including owneroccupiers and investment purchasers) think about the cost ofimplementing energy efficiency in the home. 
Froman education and marketing perspective the research has great potentialbenefit. This is a new area of research in Australia and there is onlyvery limited research in this area internationally. Empirical evidenceshows that passive solar design and other energy efficiency measurescan be built into a residential dwelling for no additional cost over a'standard' construction and can reduce life cycle costs enormously.

Energy efficient homes continue to be in the vast minority for newdwellings and we simply do not understand the consumer psychologybehind this phenomenon. If the causal link can be found that preventsthe proliferation of market driven energy efficient housing then as anindustry we are in a position to drive change through education and/ormarketing.

Colin completed a Bachelor of Building with Honours in1999. He has worked as a research assistant and tutor and has lecturedat the Western Sydney Institute of TAFE in the Diploma of Buildingcourse. Feel free to contact him about his research at

Construction Innovation events

Queensland Budget Impact on Construction Breakfast held 9 June
-- read the speech given by The Honourable Robert Schwarten MP and view images on our Queensland Budget Impact on Construction Breakfast event page.


Clients Driving Innovation - Moving Ideas into Practice (Gold Coast, Queensland: 12-14 March, 2006)
For more information on the conference or our sponsorship and exhibition packages see above.


Partner/Externally led events and updates

Update on activities of the Australian Performance Based Building Network
(information supplied by Peter Boxhall)

The main activity of the Australian Performance Based Building(Aus-PeBBu) Network derives from the participation of our domaincoordinators in the programs and meetings of the European PeBBuNetwork. This participation is very much two way, in that ourrepresentatives are able to:
a) keep up with European developments in Performance Based Building(PBB), and communicate these to Australian building industrystakeholders
b) provide input, pertaining to Australian developments and issues withrespect to PBB, to the European program - this both contributes to theEuropean effort and enables issues of most relevance to the Australiansituation to form part of the European agendas.

The most recent series of European technical domain meetings wereheld in Portugal in November 2005. Brief reports on, as well as theAustralian presentations to, these meetings are available on the"Program & Domains" page of the Aus-PeBBu web-site:

More recently, Aus-PeBBu delegates participated in PeBBu conferencesessions and meetings as part of the CIB Symposium in Helsinki in June2006. Reports on the final outcomes from the EU performance basedbuilding program will be presented at the second CRC InternationalConference (March 2006), for which Aus-PeBBu is a Gold Sponsor.

Aus-PeBBu has now extended its informal network to East Asia, withcounterparts in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, ThePhilippines, Singapore and Vietnam.

Property Council of Australian Congress 05 (Hamilton Island, Qld: 16-19 August)

Congress goes tropical: A stellar speaker line-up and the opportunityfor networking in a relaxed, tropical environment make Congress themust-attend property event for 2005.

Congress 05 will also see the launch of two ground-breaking research projects:
Australia On The Move - predicting residential housing demand in every major locale across Australia over the next 30 years.
The Big Think Project - delivering insights into property marketdrivers and business opportunities. The Project aims to identify andevaluate the trends, themes, opportunities and risks that will shapetomorrow's bottom lines.

For more information go to:

UDIA State Conference - Realising the Vision (Port Douglas, Qld: 17-20 August, 2005 )

The UDIA ANZ Queensland State Conference provides the opportunity tonetwork, learn, listen and see first-hand a variety of developmentsthat may otherwise perhaps have escaped our attention. Realising theVision - is designed to focus thoughts and attention on the ultimategoal - to envisage and steer projects through to their final successfuloutcome.

Register and find more information at

Down to Earth - Erosion and Sediment Management Conference (Cairns, Qld: 6-8 September, 2005)

The Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with the Departmentof Natural Resources and Mines, Department of Primary Industries andFisheries, The Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand, andthe International Erosion Control Association, is hosting a conferenceaimed at fostering robust discussion about current problems and issuesassociated with erosion and sediment management.

The conference will discuss best practice erosion management in arange of industries such as development, construction, building,agriculture and mining sectors.

The conference will also discuss the current regulatory requirementsand will debate a range of policy options, including incentives andregulatory tools, that will lead to change for better erosion andsediment management.

This event will also have a trade display and sponsorshipopportunities. Online registration now open. For more information go to

ABCB - Building Australia's Future Conference 2005 (Gold Coast, Qld: 11-15 September, 2005)

The Conference will consist of both plenary and interactiveworkshops over the first 3 days. Sessions will focus on topics andtechnical requirements relevant to all industry professionals coveringareas such as Energy Efficiency, Access for People with Disabilities,Fire Engineering and Performance.

On the fourth day, Thursday 15 September, the ABCB will host thesecond IRCC Global Policy Summit. The Summit will be a full plenary dayfocusing on sustainability. The Summit will draw together key policymakers, regulatory officials, industry representatives, researchers andothers from around the world. It will focus on key issues, identifypossible solutions, and address the policy challenges of responding tothe sustainability issues through regulation and support of industrythrough international best practice.

Note: you may be eligible for Continuing Professional Development(CPD) points if you attend, please contact the administrator of yourCPD scheme for more information.

To register your interest and for further information onaccommodation, the program, topics and presenting a paper can be foundon the ABCB's website

AMCA National Conference (Coolum, Qld: 25-29 September, 2005)

Register your intereston the Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors' Association ofAustralia (AMCA) website. Further details of the conference and thescheduled program will be available soon.

AIPM National Conference 2005 and Project Management Achievement Awards (Melbourne, Victoria: 9-11 October, 2005)

The Australian Institute of Project Management National 2005 Conference'Project yourself into the future' provides the opportunity forindustry organisations, members and corporate partners to becomefamiliar with the latest industry trends/developments/issues. Thisoccurs in an environment where you can establish key networkingbusiness alliances. As a progressive association, AIPM are continuallylooking to the future of project management. This year's conferenceprogram is based around furthering project management as a professionthrough focusing on the future of the individual, the organisation, theindustry and the research required to make this happen.

Please visit the conference website for further information:

Built environment conference (Sydney:15-18 November, 2005)

With an outstanding line-up of speakers this inaugural conference byPrincipal Event Partner ASBEC ( Australian Sustainable BuiltEnvironment Council)  will address some of the challengesAustralia faces in making the sustainable development of urban centresand commercial buildings part of mainstream policy-making and businesspractice.

Key program themes:

  • future perspectives: the demographer, the architect and the environmentalist
  • benchmarking and government leadership
  • business case: future-proofing, productivity and capturing green premiums
  • regulation: incentives, market forces and risk
  • sustainable cities: planning, infrastructure and communities
  • future buildings: energy, water, waste and materials.

Featuring case studies, new policy directions, interactive panelsessions and six keynote presentations from international andAustralian industry leaders. For the full program go to Note that as sponsors of the conference, CRC Construction Innovation particpants are entitled to a 5 percent discount on registration.

AUBEA conference (Sydney: 5-7 July 2006)

The annual conference held by the Australasian University BuildingEducators Association (AUBEA) in 2006 will be hosted by the Universityof Technology Sydney.

The dual aims of AUBEA are basically to promote research in buildingand to share ideas on teaching and learning in building related courses- papers on many themes are welcomed with an emphasis on topics relatedto building education.


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