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March 2005, Issue 14

2005 Commitment to renewal

Construction Innovation project update

Construction innovators - please step forward

Our second International Conference

Scholar's corner

Events & updates

Construction Innovation partners:

Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB), Arup Australasia, Bovis Lend Lease, Brisbane City Council (BCC), Building Commission (Victoria), Brookwater JV, CSIRO, DEM, John Holland, Qld Dept Main Roads (QDMR), Qld Dept Public Works (QDPW), Qld Dept State Development and Innovation (QDSDI), Qld University of Technology (QUT), Rider Hunt, RMIT, The University of Newcastle (UN), The University of Sydney (US), University of Western Sydney (UWS), Woods Bagot


It is with the strong support of our existing partner network and with the interest of a number of key fresh potential participants that we are moving forward in the development of our bid for the renewal of the CRC for Construction Innovation to support us to continue making a difference to 2014 (our current funding base is in place to 2008). Our collaborative research project completions; our developing education and training and technology diffusion activities with our industry partners and associations; our national demonstrator projects leveraging on the research outcomes to date and our emerging international reputation provides a strong foundation for our renewal. We plan to build on the successes of this CRC in servicing the Australian property and construction industry for its future.

On the international arena Construction Innovation partners to Japanese and international visitors in Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo. The Hon Peter Beattie MP will participate at these functions<'s as part of his trade mission to Japan during the World Expo. While in Japan, I'll be profiling our success in collaborative R&D in the property and construction industry especially in the areas of sustainability, project evaluation, cultural change and advanced information and communication technology. Ill also be encouraging attendance at our second International Conference Clients Driving Innovation moving ideas into practice to be held on the Gold Coast from 12 to 14 March 2006. My focus will also be on identifying opportunities for new partnerships and joint activities in the ongoing development and commercialisation of our Centres successful initiatives.

At the Revaluing Construction 2005: The Challenge of Change in Construction at the World Trade Center, Rotterdam (22-23 March 2005), I'll be presenting the paper Construction 2020: Inspiring Change in the Australian Property and Construction Industry. This international conference in the Netherlands on construction change and reform will cover themes such as Strategies and structures for achieving change, Procurement as an instrument of change, Monitoring change, Regulations, The human dimensions and Change through technology. My paper will briefly track the development of our Australian CRC and highlight the collaborative processes in developing, managing and disseminating applied research; profile a number of our key research outcomes to date; and envision the future of applied research in Australia in the context of our Construction 2020 national initiative. It will illustrate how the Construction 2020 initiative is inspiring change in the Australian property, construction and facility management industry.

On Monday 21 March with my joint coordinator of CIB TG58 Clients and Construction Innovation, Professor Peter Brandon, we will be convening our first Northern Hemisphere meeting. This group will be structuring up a two-year work program culminating in an internationally compiled reference book on Construction Innovation together with a major conference in 2007 bringing together clients and researchers to share each others learnings.

Contact Hanneke van Dijk (Professor Peter Brandons office at the University of Salford) for further details on this

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Sustainable Subdivisions Project update

2002-063-BSustainable Subdivisions - Energy Efficient Design Project Michael Ambrose, CSIRO]

Participants: Brookwater JV, DEM, Queensland Department of Public Works, Queensland University of Technology and CSIRO

The Sustainable Subdivisions Project is examining subdivisions in south-east Queensland to help builders meet regulations, stay competitive and make our new suburbs more energy efficient and comfortable places to live.

Industry interviews

To gain an insight into the current state-of-play in the design of residential subdivisions, the project team interviewed individuals involved in subdivision development. The survey found that yield (as determined by topography, zoning, site location, allotment size, density, orientation, competition and landscaping) was clearly the bottom line when configuring allotments. Nevertheless, pro-active developers indicated their interest in subdividing so as to provide more sustainable allotments to aid builders in achieving sustainable dwellings. However, they also identified a range of barriers that may obstruct progress towards this.

Orienting for efficiency

A range of contemporary dwelling designs, both detached and attached were examined to explore the link between subdivision design and dwelling design. All were modelled as if located in Brookwater, an outer suburban greenfield development in Brisbanes southwest or Kelvin Grove Urban Village, a brownfield development in inner suburban Brisbane.

The results showed that orientation plays a key role in energy efficiency. Appropriate orientation will capture natural light, breezes for cross-flow ventilation and solar access for energy. The study provided data to confirm the notion that in Queensland, orientation for solar access although important, is not as pertinent as in southern states, and that natural ventilation plays a significant role in the overall energy performance. It also established that both slab-on ground and elevated dwellings could perform well in terms of energy efficiency if they were appropriately designed.

While the current 3.5 star rating for residential construction in south-east Queensland can usually be met without considering subdivision orientation, a higher rating is likely to be introduced and this will require new tools and methods in both subdivision and construction. Developer and builders will need to work more closely to achieve these higher standards.

Saving energy

This project also highlights how tremendous savings are to be made through the use of energy efficient appliances and reducing the need for air-conditioning.

In Queensland, the single biggest consumer of energy in the dwelling is for hot water heating. The use of solar hot water systems can shift up to 90 per cent of this energy need from fossil fuel based sources to a renewable energy. Integrating solar hot water into home design from the outset is one way in which builders and developers can contribute to huge decreases in energy use, especially as payback periods shorten with technological advances.

New projects from December 2004

Program B: Sustainable Built Assets

2003-028-B Construction to Enhance Sustainability Peter Newton, CSIRO]
Participants: Brisbane City Council, Qld Dept of Public Works, Queensland University of Technology, CSIRO

This project will support the delivery of a superior refurbished building according to a core set of sustainability criteria. These are:

  • Eco-efficiency: minimising the ecological footprint of the refurbished building

  • High quality indoor environment: where the refurbished building has achieved demonstrable improvement in respect of key Indoor Environment Quality criteria, including thermal performance and indoor air quality

  • Healthier and more productive working environment: as measured by performance of occupants pre vs post refurbishment

  • Waste minimisation: The property and construction industry contributes a significant proportion of the waste that goes into Australian landfill sites. This project's component will examine how to reduce the generation of waste during construction (off-cuts, over ordering etc.) and refurbishment, by increasing recycling and re-use.

2004-003-B Microclimatic Impacts on the Built Environment [Judy Kraatz, Brisbane City Council]
Participants: Arup, Brisbane City Council, Qld Dept of Public Works, Queensland University of Technology, CSIRO, University of Western Sydney

This project is designed to quantify and model the potential microclimatic influences and impacts of a building, within a precinct of buildings through assessment of a 3D digitised model. This would enable planners, developers and designers to model this interaction at a conceptual level and potentially provide local authorities with a tool to rapidly quantify impacts of building designs within a precinct or region of buildings. The level of detail required in these 3D models will be at the massing level rather than requiring detailed inputs. The parametric analysis will have the capacity to provide options regarding the impact< of the proposed building on key microclimate criteria (wind, rainfall, air temperature, radiation, humidity, solar access and day-lighting).

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CONSTRUCTION INNOVATORS - please step forward

The 2004 BRITE Innovation Survey ( of the building and construction industry identified 82 highly innovative businesses, including 26 that have developed world-first innovations. Researchers on the BRITE Project would like those innovators, and any others in the industry, to step forward and share their successes.

The research team aims to increase the rate and quality of innovation in the industry by widely publishing information on successful innovations, drawn from the BRITE Innovation Survey and from more detailed case studies. Six case studies are already available (

The BRITE team are now seeking nominations from organisations who would like their innovations to be profiled for industry dissemination. To be eligible, the innovation should have been used on a completed construction project. There should be measured benefits from the innovation such as reduced energy costs, building costs, whole-of-life costs, time. The team is particularly interested in the activities of small- to medium-sized businesses, especially in regional areas.

To register your interest, send an email to k.manley@construction-innovation.infoor phone Dr Karen Manley on 07 3138 1762

Participants: Arup, Qld Dept of State Development and Innovation, Qld Dept of Main Roads, Qld Dept of Public Works, CSIRO, Queensland University of Technology, University of Western Sydney

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Our Second International Conference Clients Driving Innovation - Moving Ideas Into Practice will be held 1214 March, 2006. It will be held in association with the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB), International Construction Research Alliance ( ICALL) and the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI).

We are delighted to have the early support from the Queensland Government through the Department of Public Works for this conference as a Gold sponsor.

We are currently seeking further sponsorship for our 2006 conference:

Gold $15 000, Silver $10 000, Bronze $5000, Dinner $3000, Lunch $2000, Book of abstracts $2500.

Last year we stamped our mark on the national and international scene with 210 attendees from 12 countries, benefiting from the quality of industry case studies and leading-edge research. Our 2006 conference will build on this success in focussing on the theme of moving ideas into practice.

For more information on packages contact Louise Adams at or 03 5983 2872

As part of its Gold level sponsorship package to the CRC, the Queensland Department of Public Works will provide further support towards promotion of our important research activities and in particular the international conference through a visit to Japan in April, 2005 as mentioned above in '2005 Commitment to renewal'.

The full proceedings from our 2004 International Conference are now online.

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Modelling and forecasting office property markets

After being based atQueensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane since February 2003 as a Construction Innovation Masters by Research Scholar, Merv Cowley has recently returned to the Queensland Department of Public Works (QDPW). Construction Innovation wishes him success as he progresses to the completion of his PhD.His research project Modelling and forecasting office property markets is summed up by the following words:

Cyclical boombust events in commercial property markets have generated significant financial impacts for property owners / investors, the construction industry and, from a wider perspective, national and local economies. Modern valuation / viability analysis techniques require the incorporation of forecasts for several market and economic variables. These forecasts play a critical role in determining whether projects proceed or not. However, prior research and local surveys indicate inconsistencies and a lack of rigour in the formulation of forecasts in the property industry.

Research to date has identified the key drivers (or leading indicators) used internationally to model and forecast activity in office markets. Market modelling using local data has identified several leading indicators, but has also revealed scope for further refinement of forecasting techniques. Cooperation with the Queensland State Government has provided a unique opportunity to use long-term property market data and geographic information system (GIS) technology to map and plot market trends within the Brisbane central business district. This will enable a more detailed segmentation approach to modelling rents and values across the city. The research aims to derive a more consistent industry approach to the formulation and application of office market forecasts.

Current property assessment practice entails adopting single city-wide growth forecasts for office building rents and values regardless of any specific city precinct influences. Research has shown central business districts do not move as one in terms of property values. This testing of a new segmentation method of modelling and forecasting rents and values for a sample office market has the potential of delivering increased reliability to viability studies.

To find out more about his research, please email Merv

Merv holds an Associate Diploma of Business (Real Estate Valuation) from the University of Queensland, a Bachelor of Applied Science (Property Economics) from QUT and a Master of Property Economics (QUT). He is an Associate Member of the Australian Property Institute (Certified Practising Valuer).

Scholars enter CRCA awards

Construction Innovation scholarsUPDATE October 2004 for Marcello and UPDATE December 2004 for Tim. Good luck guys!

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Construction Innovation events

Bringing Innovation to Facility Management(26 April, 2005: Brisbane)
Construction Innovation and registered Australian Innovation Festival event

Presenters include:

Dr Keith Hampson: Chief Executive Officer, CRC Construction Innovation

Mr Dennis Hogan:Manager Technical & Research Services, Building Commission

Mr Neil Robertson: Manager Road Asset Management Branch, Queensland Dept Main Roads

"Facility Management (FM) Action Agenda" - outlines how this Australian Government initiative includes the promotion of benefits of innovation and encouraging greater industry collaboration and investment in R&D, in addition to developing a framework for regulatory standardisation, FM performance measures and sustainability, all underpinned by focussed education and training.

"Where to?- recommendations on how technologies and systems may be incorporated into Australias building and construction practice to ensure that people with a sensory impairment know where they are in a building or an environment, where their desired location is, and how to get there from their present location.

Road Maintenance - procedures and methodologies for effective decision-making for road asset investment.

Construction Innovation case study research that will examineFM practices and benchmark agreed performance measures and management metrics against current best practice and appropriate targets identifying opportunities for innovation.

"Life Cycle Analysis of Design" - how LCADesign will enable building design professionals to make informed decisions on the environmental impact of commercial buildings by providing detailed environmental and cost measures for different materials, products and designs, automatically from their 3D CAD drawings.

"Microclimatic Impact" - quantifying and modelling the potential microclimatic influences and impacts of a building, within a precinct of buildings through assessment of a 3D digitised model.

Time: 26 April, 9.45 - 4.30 p.m. (registration and presentations)
Cost: $185 (full day), $130 (half day, incl. lunch)

Registration details:


Fax: 07 3138 9151

New sustainability book from Peter Brandon Although UK based, Peter has strong links to the CRC including his involvement in Construction 2020, ICALL, the International Conference and our annual reviews. He is currently Director or Strategic Programmes at the University of Salford.

Special features of Evaluating Sustainable Development in the built environment
* one of the first books to provide a structured approach to sustainable development
* discusses key issues for establishing a coherent approach to evaluating and understanding sustainability
* includes a set of evaluation techniques to aid decision making
* features case studies to illustrate the principles being developed


1. Setting the context for evaluating sustainable development; 2. Approaches to evaluation; 3. Time and sustainability; 4. A proposed framework for evaluating sustainable development; 5. The framework as a structuring tool: case studies; 6. Assessment methods; 7. Towards management systems and protocols; 8. The future issues

Project Diagnostics screening March 9 in Asia-Pacific will be screened on ABC Asia-Pacific TV on March 9 2005.

Project Diagnostics is a software tool that identifies areas of poor health< in construction projects<, pinpoints the root causes and provides suggested remedial measures. Its focus is to act as an advanced warning system for projects that fail to meet predetermined objectives based on Critical Success Factors (CSFs) - such as cost/time overruns, inadequate quality, poor relationships, legal disputation and environmental nonconformance.

The software stems from a cyclic mechanism that repeats a particular investigation until the identified problems are remedied, and is dependent on benchmarks for performance evaluation - most of which are based on industry standards. It has been built on strong academic research gathered from the UK, USA, Europe and Australia. For more information contact Sheldon

Partner/External-lead events and updates

Pavement Management Systems Asia 2005 Conference (Singapore: 31 May- 1 June)

Pre-conference workshops: 30 May 2005

Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel,Singapore

: the forum is designed for maximum cross-industry technology transfer with key pavement owners, research bodies and industry experts with initiatives from Mainroads WA and Malaysia Airports

: Cairns and Sydney Airports will share their experience of asphalt pavementswith findings from the Australian Road Research Board, RMIT University, National University of Singapore and the University of Hong Kong

Construction Innovation is pleased to be a supporter of the above conference, which will feature several notable speakers and include leading operators from both airport and road sectors, research institutes and industry experts from the region and globally.

Project Leader, Professor Steve Rowlinson Adjunct Professor of QUT will speak on Building value in project delivery systems; facilitating a change in culture lessons from Australia, he will be sharing his insights into:

  • Understanding the crucial role of client management on the success or failure of the project
  • Addressing the importance of skills, roles definition and responsibilities on relationship management

Project Leader, Professor Arun Kumar Dean, Research Innovation, RMITwill discuss Investment decision framework for infrastructure asset management, covering:

  • Optimising data collection case study of road network pavement
  • Strength
  • Calibrating pavement performance models case studies of two road networks
  • Assessing probability of errors in budget estimates
  • Development of decision support software
  • Cooperative research

FMA announcements

Melbourne: 1820 May 2005)
National Conference of the Facility Management Association of Australia (FMA).

The only conference run by the Facility Management Association of Australia, Ideaction is the premier FM learning event in the Asia Pacific and this year will be held 1820 May at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre.

With the theme of 4D Thinking, Ideaction 2005 aims to challenge delegates to consider alternative dimensions and extend their involvement to issues and skills beyond their immediate responsibility. Conference presentations will be centred on the dimensions of people, time, space and assets. The gamut of issues FM professionals deal with will also be addressed.
Please contact FMAs national office on (03) 9347 5100 if you would like further information.

2005 FMA Awards for Excellence in Facility Management
Award winners receive industry wide recognition and acknowledgements of their innovative performances.


QUT Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering Research Week (Brisbane: 4-8 July)

Mon/Tues 4-5 July
COBRA (the Construction Research Conference of the RICS foundation)
AUBEA (Australian Universities' Building Educators Association)

Wed 6 July
3rd CIB* Student Chapter International Symposium

The Industry Day will present opportunities for:

  • bridging the gap between industry and academia

  • showcasing the industry collaboration undertaken by the Facult

Papers and discussions related, but not limited to the following industry themes will form the basis for the Industry Day:

  • Project Delivery, PPP, Alliancing

  • Infrastructure & Asset Management

  • Sustainability

  • Work Life Balance

  • Occupational Health & Safety

  • IT Applications

  • Case Studies of Major Projects

The Faculty has a strong commitment to collaborative research with industry, boasting a number of major research centres including:

  • CRC for Construction Innovation

  • Construction Industry Institute of Australia

  • CRC for Integrated Engineering Asset Management

  • Sustainable Living Initiative

  • CRC for Interaction Design

*CIB - International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction

Norway providing models for leadership in innovation (Oslo: 31 May- 1 June)

(information supplied by Kwok-Keung Yum, CSIRO)

The Norwegian Government together with the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI**) will present its national initiative in construction innovation in a two-day Building Smart International Conference in Oslo, 31 May 1 June, 2005. The aim of the initiative is to highlight the business case for open integrated models and implement their supporting software for automatic building registration, plan submission and c

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