I’m pleased to announce that the SBEnrc has been given a significant growth injection from our partners in Western Australia. Consequently, the administrative headquarters of SBEnrc will be relocated to Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. We will be maintaining our office at QUT to continue servicing and growing our east coast partners. I have agreed to continue as CEO and will move to Perth later this year. I am delighted to report that John McCarthy AO will also continue to serve as Chair of our Governing Board.
Moving to Western Australia is a natural progression for our Centre as it is the centre of resources and infrastructure development in Australia. Curtin University is widely recognised for applied research focused on solving real-world problems. Underpinning its research are strong partnerships with industry, business and government, resulting in outcomes that benefit the broader community locally, nationally and globally. This move will also provide us with greater opportunities to grow by servicing the resources infrastructure sector, complementing our existing activities in roads and building infrastructure – in which we have been acknowledged as a leader.
The support by QUT was pivotal for the transition from the CRC for Construction Innovation to SBEnrc and the Board and I will always be grateful for that. Keith and I have a proven partnership and we are looking forward to working together to continue the growth and synergies of our industry, government and research partnerships. In particular, we look forward to continuing to work with QUT as the joint host of the CIB World Building Congress to be held in Brisbane 5-9 May, 2013. John V. McCarthy AO, Chair of SBEnrc Board and President, CIB – (International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction).
We were delighted to act as the headquarters for the CRC for Construction Innovation for nine years and the SBEnrc for its first three years. We were proud to support the transformation as one of the very few successful transitions from CRC to an industry funded centre, and we will continue to remain engaged with the SBEnrc as a core member. In partnership with Curtin, we look forward to being involved in continued success and growth over the next three year phase. Professor Arun Sharma, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research and Commercialisation, QUT
Having SBEnrc move its headquarters to Curtin University is a logical extension of the growth of our research profile in the built environment sector. It will complement our focus on delivering value to organisations across the country in sustainable design, construction and operations through our strategic, national and international linkages. Professor Graeme Wright, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research and Development, Curtin University.
Research Project Update
At the recent SBEnrc Board meeting on 13 February 2013, five initial industry research projects worth over $1 million were approved for this next phase of our Centre. Fresh project partners are now being sought to complement our Centre’s core members. The projects are:
- Strategies and Solutions for the Future of Roads
- A Roadmap for Carbon Structural Adjustment in the Built Environment
- Strategies and Solutions for Housing Sustainability
- New Project Management Models for Productivity Improvement in Infrastructure
- Integrated Project Environments – Leveraging Innovation for Productivity Gain through Industry Transformation.
Please let me know of your interest to engage and invest in these or other projects.
Three projects from our last phase are also now being completed:
A Study of Five Leading Biophilic Cities
When the SBEnrc was established in 2010, it was clear that part of the Centre’s focus would need to be on encouraging and informing the greater use of nature in Australian cities. World renowned sustainable development expert, and lead author on transport for the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report, Professor Peter Newman has led an experienced research team from Curtin University and QUT to undertake a detailed investigation of five leading biophilic cities to inform efforts to harness nature as a design feature of urban developments. The cities are Berlin, Chicago, Portland, Singapore and Toronto. The team is now finalising the findings of the project that include 1) a clear description of a range of biophilic urbanism options; 2) investigating the costs and benefits of such programs; and 3) investigating actual biophilic urbanism policies and programs nationally and internationally.
Safety Impacts of Alcohol and Other Drugs in Construction
The final project outcomes will outline an educational intervention program to help reduce and manage alcohol and drug use in the construction industry. In September 2012, Project Leader Professor Bert Biggs from QUT was awarded the prestigious “David Langford Commemorative Award” as the paper judged to best address health and safety concerns of construction workers at the Annual Conference of the Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM) in Scotland. Bert presented a paper entitled “Safety impacts of alcohol and other drugs in construction: Development of an industry policy and cultural change management program” based on the leading SBEnrc industry research.
Collaborative Object Libraries Supporting the Facility Lifecycle
The goal of this project, with industry partners Queensland Public Works Project Services and NATSPEC, was to provide a software implementation of an on-line product library that would provide the basis for a future national product library. Led by QUT’s Professor Robin Drogemuller, the project addresses the problem of the proliferation of object libraries from manufacturers, designers and contractors across our industry. Variations in object and property naming and the discipline-specific focus of object creators means that collaboration using BIM can be a fractured process. The business case behind the project is that if there was a national product library that was on-line and free for users, then many of the issues with collaboration would be reduced. The operation of the system was demonstrated at a series of workshops nationally late last year and a demonstration CD will soon be released.
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 International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB). Over 420 papers have now been received and final reviews are imminent. The Congress has also announced leading international keynote speakers – including Professor Martin Fischer from CIFE at Stanford University; Brian Krause, National Manager for Integrated Building Solutions for Turner Construction Company, owned by Hochtief AG of Germany* and CIB Secretary General, Dr Wim Bakens.
Early bird registrations are being accepted until Friday 22 March 2013. For more information, or to register, go to www.worldbuildingcongress2013.com.