I’m very pleased to announce that on Thursday 29 March our Board convened a special meeting to confirm in principle the renewal of the Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre until the end of 2015.
I am also very pleased to announce and welcome our new partner the NSW State Government agency Roads and Maritime Services.
We are now working with our industry, government and research partners, following a series of national workshops, to detail the next round of research projects, which will continue the delivery of valuable outcomes. Some of our anticipated projects that reflect the current industry challenges, to commence late 2012-2013 are:
Now that our Centre has a confirmed future beyond the initial transition from the CRC for Construction Innovation, I would like to reaffirm our thanks to our supporters and continue to acknowledge the value we are receiving from the collaboration between our industry, government and research partners.
In each newsletter we aim to focus on a different project. This month, we are looking at Project 1.8 Sustainable Infrastructure Procurement, led by Professor Russell Kenley of Swinburne University of Technology.
Initial research has found there is potential to reduce emissions from mass haul operations on road construction, which could help Australia meet its carbon targets by 2020. A mapping of current greenhouse gas reduction initiatives by the five largest Australian state road authorities on road infrastructure projects has identified significant gaps and key areas for further investigation. The greatest gap was in the project development phase, which has a critical role in fixing project greenhouse emissions reduction goals, identifying risks and opportunities and selecting the contractor to deliver the project. Addressing these gaps and weak links in the green procurement process could have national environmental and financial benefits.
The five participating public road authorities – Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia – cover 94 per cent of the total 817, 089km of Australian roads and account for 96 per cent of the total A$13 billion annual road construction and maintenance expenditure. Identifying best practices and initiatives that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in road construction supply chains will enable roads authorities to meet carbon reduction targets.
Recommendations for further investigation will be provided for comment to the five participating Australian road authorities in late 2012; and researchers will simultaneously work with authorities on practical applications such as setting priorities, until project completion in 2013.
This project is funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC), Queensland, NSW and WA state road authorities, QUT, Swinburne University of Technology, John Holland and Parsons Brinckerhoff.
The Dispute Resolution Board Foundation is hosting the 12th International Conference “The Benefits of Dispute Boards to Major Projects – Proactive Dispute Resolution” from 3-5 May 2012 in Sydney. It will focus on the innovation of DBs and the experience and lessons learnt by DB practitioners operating across a number of different cultures and legal systems from around the world. For information and to register go to: www.drba.com.au/conference.
The CIB World Building Congress 2013 will be held in Brisbane from 5-9 May 2013. SBEnrc and QUT are coordinating and hosting this congress on behalf of the CIB (International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction). The Call for Abstracts is now open. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words in total and must be submitted online for review by the International Scientific Committee by 30 June 2012. For full details and submission requirements, visit the Congress website.
As you read this, our Board Chair, John V. McCarthy AO, is preparing to Chair the CIB Board meeting on 16-17 April in Washington DC, while I will be highlighting the work of the SBEnrc, at the International Workshop on Integrated Design & Delivery Solutions. This industry-focused presentation will summarise the achievements of the CRC for Construction Innovation and the SBEnrc in leading collaborative efforts to develop BIM as a productive tool and an industry driver in building and infrastructure construction.