The SBEnrc is driven by a simple, but powerful, mission: To be an enduring world-class research and knowledge broker in sustainable infrastructure and building design, construction and management.
In 2009, this national innovation network was established as the successor to the CRC for Construction Innovation as the first national industry research centre improving processes across the full supply chain. We have achieved much through collaboration in pursuit of our mission – and are well positioned to achieve more as we strengthen our links with Australian industry, other research centres nationally and internationally, and as we develop new industry-focussed projects for the next phase of our life to 2015.
We have recently entered into an international partnership with Constructing Excellence in the UK – a vibrant organisation with a history of driving the change agenda in construction and improving the UK industry performance. Our collaborative agreement with Constructing Excellence UK will enable us to share information and ideas, facilitate international collaboration to improve the quality of the built environment and work together to provide increased value for our stakeholders and partners.
Our last Board meeting was hosted by our new Western Australia Government partner, the Department of Commerce, Building Commission. In conjunction with this meeting, we discussed collaboration with Professor Lyn Beazley AO FTSE, the Chief Scientist of Western Australia. We are also working closely with the Chief Scientists in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia, building national networks for shaping R&D strategy for our industry.
The highly acclaimed Construction Safety Competency Framework was produced by the CRC for Construction Innovation. From this, a number of construction industry training courses were developed by leading project partner John Holland and commercialised by Safety Dimensions. The SBEnrc recently commissioned an industry-focused independent review of these safety courses, as delivered by Safety Dimensions, to ascertain their impact and their alignment with our framework. This review was extremely positive. Our thanks go to Safety Dimensions for successfully embedding the Centre’s applied research into industry practice. For details of these and other training offerings please contact Louise Quinn from Safety Dimensions on +61 419 331 120.
Future of Roads 2012 Stakeholder Workshop Outcomes
In April the research team from the Future of Roads project invited its partners and stakeholders to workshop the development of sustainability scenarios for the future of roads. The workshops, held in Brisbane and Perth and led by Charlie Hargroves at Curtin University and Luke Whistler at QUT, road tested a methodology developed by the team, lead by Dr Annie Matan, and proposed as the basis for a future project on sustainability scenarios.
Participants formed working groups to discuss plausible trends, to consider the potential intensity of the trends over time, and discuss strategic responses. As Figure 1 shows there were similarities and differences in the trends selected, such as aggregate material shortages and increase in trips by walking, cycling and public transport being selected in Perth and Brisbane.
Figure 1 – Future trends selected for consideration as part of Future of Roads workshops
The working groups then considered how particular trends may perform over time. Understanding that each of the specific trends will not happen in isolation, but rather as an overall scenario, the groups considered how each of the trends may interact with each other and amplify the impacts, such as an increase in extreme weather events amplifying the cost of road maintenance. The final stage of the workshop was then to consider strategies to respond to the impacts from each trends, and to identify common strategies that may deliver multiple benefits.
Table 1 – Strategies identified during the stakeholder workshops
The process outlined forms a platform for road agencies to systematically consider a range of possible trends and response strategies. The process provides a structure that can inform policy and identify strategies that can assist road agencies prepare for the future. The Workshop Outcomes Report will be released in September 2012 and will present a hierarchy of strategies and actions to respond to the trends.
The research team wishes to thank the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads and Main Roads Western Australia for hosting and participating in the workshops, along with the partners and stakeholders (public, private and industry associations) who attended.
The CIB World Building Congress 2013 will be held in Brisbane from 5-9 May 2013. SBEnrc and QUT are jointly 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 and we welcome abstracts by 31 July 2012. For full details and submission requirements, visit the Congress website.
Roads Australia One Day Sustainability Forum in Sydney on Tuesday 17th July, leading experts and industry leaders will speak on overseas initiatives, current rating tools in Australia, sea level rise support tools, and climate change adaptation for road infrastructure. For further event details visit the Roads Australia website.
Happy New Financial Year and winter greetings in Australia … and enjoy your summer holidays in the North!