SBEnrc News | April 2019


BIM/DE Projects – the research that keeps on giving… value


For more than two decades SBEnrc and its predecessors have been partnering with industry, driving research focusing on the uptake and benefits of digitising the supply chain of project delivery. This Australian research initiative has been consistent with industry’s call for value-adding information and communication technologies for construction and virtual prototyping for design, construction and operations identified in Construction 2020 – A Vision for Australia’s Property and Construction Industry.

As early as 1998, the Construction Research Alliance (CRA) – led by SBEnrc CEO Keith Hampson – embarked upon a project that explored environmentally sustainable development using IT (ESDIT). The CRA was at the forefront of Building Information Modelling (BIM)/Digital Engineering (DE) and the ESDIT project was a forerunner to digital assessment of the environmental impact of building design and performance.

The CRA worked closely with Australia’s CSIRO to bring the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI) to Australia in 1998, giving our national construction industry its formative experience with BIM/DE. The IAI went on to become buildingSMART International, a thriving global organisation dedicated to standardising processes, workflows and procedures for BIM/DE. In the meantime, the outcomes of the CRA’s ESDIT project fed into the research program of the Cooperative Research Centre for Construction Innovation (CRCci) which was formed in 2001. In 2009 it released the National Guidelines and Case Studies for Digital Modelling (Buildings) under the industry leadership of Thom Fussell from the Queensland Government’s Department of Public Works.

The National Guidelines for Digital Modelling have been widely referenced by building professionals globally as a forerunner to the broader uptake of BIM/DE across architecture and engineering disciplines in building and infrastructure design and construction. In 2017 an infrastructure-focused set of guidelines was released by SBEnrc, National BIM Guidelines and Case Studies for Infrastructure.

With increasing adoption of this technology in the design and construction phases, our recent applied research focus — driven by our industry partners — has particularly focussed on the application of BIM/DE in the critical operations and maintenance function of buildings and infrastructure. This whole-of-life approach across housing, buildings, and infrastructure has inspired our most recent projects, Developing a Cross Sector Digital Asset Information Model Framework for Asset Management and Unlocking Facility Value Through Lifecycle Thinking. These projects have brought together industry participants from across the built environment industry and now includes urban water utilities.

We firmly believe that the digital transformation in Australia’s built environment represents a major opportunity to improve the businesses of Australian constructed asset owners. Our National Industry Research Workshops scheduled for July 2019 will tap into future industry priorities for ongoing development of applied research benefiting whole-of-life value through digitisation.

We continue to build on long term relationships and the legacy of valued outcomes achieved over the past two decades to apply to today’s changing business world. Our Centre’s work in this digital space in design and construction, and now in asset management, continues to benefit the community through more effective delivery of built environment facilities such as homes, schools, hospitals and infrastructure.

Launch Event – register now!

Join us for the launch of the essential guideline for supporting the operation and maintenance of key assets. Digital Asset Information Management: A Guide and Manual is the culmination of research undertaken in SBEnrc’s Project 2.51 – Developing a Cross Sector Digital Asset Information Model Framework for Asset Management

Hosted by our Core Partner Aurecon, the launch will be held in Melbourne, Australia on 28 May 2019. 

2019 National Industry Research Workshops


The input of people who face the day-to-day challenges of the built environment industry is critical to SBEnrc’s ability to continue to perform meaningful research with outcomes that make a difference.

We regularly hold workshops around Australia to gather the latest perspectives on industry’s challenges and innovation needs. The workshops provide a forum for professionals from across the private sector and government to share business challenges that could form the basis of our future research projects. Researchers gain an appreciation of the problems faced by industry professionals and collaborate to develop ideas for projects that can be applied to the real world. This rapid translation of industry problems to SBEnrc projects uniquely identifies the continuing relevance of our Centre’s research partnerships.

Our upcoming series of national workshops to be held in July 2019 will shape development of our new Centre projects to commence early in 2020.

Do you have a complex business challenge? Share it at one of our national workshops in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Research impact ranked as world standard

We are delighted that the quality and impact of SBEnrc research carried out by our member universities has been ranked as at, or above world standard by the Australian Research Council (ARC).

The Council’s Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) Assessment, and newly introduced Engagement and Impact Assessment report against fields of research is split into 22 divisions. Our work falls mainly into the Engineering (09), Built Environment and Design (12), and Studies in Human Society (16) categories. Research performed by Curtin UniversityGriffith University and RMIT University together with our industry partners was ranked as having medium or high-impact in the Engagement and Impact Report.

The assessments consider research outputs, engagement and impact measures between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2016. For more information on engagement and impact outcomes, visit the ARC Data Portal

Where are they now?

This regular feature profiles the journeys of past collaborators who have worked with SBEnrc over the years. This newsletter, we feature the achievements of Dr Judy Kraatz.

Dr Judy Kraatz has been working with SBEnrc and its predecessor, the CRCci for more than 15 years.

Over this time she has grown her passion for embedding sustainability in the design and delivery of the built environment. Her work now focusses on the role social and affordable housing plays as essential social and economic infrastructure.

Starting her career as a design architect, Judy first became involved with the CRC for Construction Innovation (CRCci) when employed by the Centre’s then industry partner, Brisbane City Council (BCC). Judy served as the industry lead on a CRC project investigating microclimatic impacts on the built environment. She then became a PhD scholar with the CRCci through its scholarship program, exploring value-mapping for major economic infrastructure projects.

In expanding her expertise in sustainability to the social housing realm, and to address the need for a stronger evidence base, since 2015 Judy has led three highly successful SBEnrc projects:

The outcomes of these projects have been lauded as pioneering in their field. They continue to inform social and economic policy in organisations beyond SBEnrc’s core partner network, including the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Y-Care, Q Shelter and the Fred Hollows Foundation. This work is also widely acknowledged as a great reference for researchers in social housing in Australia.

Judy is presently a Senior Research Fellow at Griffith University in Queensland and is leading the current SBEnrc project Mapping the Social and Affordable Housing Network due for completion in early 2020.

Upcoming events

International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB)presents the CIB World Building Congress 2019Constructing Smart Cities, 17-21 June 2019, Hong Kong, China.

10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization (CEO)Regional markets, networks and opportunities, 7-8 May 2019, Tallinn, Estonia.

Ideaction – National FM Conference & ExhibitionFM Forecast, Blue Skies, Clouds or Storms, 2-5 June 2019, Sydney, Australia.

33rd European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS 2019), June 11 – 14, 2019
Caserta, Area of Napoli, Italy.

Transport Australia Conference 2019Shaping Australia’s Transport Future, 27-28 June 2019, Sydney, Australia.

National Housing ConferenceHousing Future Communities, 27-30 August 2019, Darwin, Australia.

World Engineers Convention Australia 2019, 20 – 22 November 2019. Known as the ‘Olympics of Engineering’ this international convention is held every four years and will attract global participants from over 70 countries. The convention program will offer three full days of content featuring six themes, with each aligning to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Hosted by Engineers Australia and World Federation of Engineering Organizations.

From the CEO

As 2019 progresses, we are progressing well in the new industry-driven projects launched in October 2018:

We are also very pleased to have now leveraged six of our established projects to secure significant ARC funding.  The ARC linkage projects enable us to extend our research into deeper, longer-term efforts, deriving even greater outcomes for industry and our nation. Our digital transformation project, Developing a Cross Sector Digital Asset Information Model Framework for Asset Management was the latest successful beneficiary of additional ARC support.  At our recent Board meeting in Perth on 20 March 2019, members of our national Governing Board were delighted with this growing engagement with the international community through what is now A$4M of current industry-driven projects.

As is customary, we held a senior networking dinner in parallel with the Board meeting in Perth. Amongst other luminaries, this dinner was supported by the attendance of the Western Australian Minister for Innovation, ICT and Science, The Honourable Dave Kelly, MLA, and WA’s Chief Scientist Dr Peter Klinken AC. Such influential industry and government leaders facilitate the ongoing industry government and research engagement, advancing Australia’s built environment.

Best regards, Keith

Dr Keith Hampson, Chief Executive Officer

Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre

Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia

Our challenge is to continue growing the value and impact of our applied research more deeply and broadly across Australia.  The Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre (SBEnrc) is acknowledged as an excellent example of a CRC that has graduated into an independent organisation delivering unique industry, government and research collaboration.



























































































































KeithHampsonImageDr Keith Hampson

John V. McCarthy AO
Chair, SBEnrc