SBEnrc News | July 2022

With the world re-opening after more than two years of the global COVID-19 pandemic and international travel back on the agenda, the SBEnrc has emerged reinvigorated and ready to personally reconnect and develop new contacts globally. Innovation networks are, after all, the bedrock of our business as a unique industry, government and research collaboration which builds on personal connections to improve Australia’s built environment industry. In this newsletter, we’re excited to share our recent efforts to reconnect the international built environment community, focusing on the successful ‘hybrid’ delivery of the
Australia-hosted CIB World Building Congress 2022 (WBC2022) – the first major face-to-face innovation networking opportunity for our industry in more than two years.


CIB WBC2022 delivers a host of successes in connection, collaboration and research inspiration

A total of 630 delegates from across the globe attended the triennial CIB World Building Congress in a successful format which saw an impressive 330 delegates attend in-person in Melbourne 27 to 30 June, with the remainder participating online. The event was hosted by one of our leading Australian university partners RMIT University on behalf of SBEnrc under the stewardship of Professor Ron Wakefield, who was also Chair of the WBC2022 Organising Committee. The clear commitment by Ron, project manager Erin Mellencamp and their team to develop a robust program and reunite the international community of industry professionals, government policymakers, clients and researchers amid the uncertainties of the Covid environment during the past 2.5 years resulted in the successful delivery of the hybrid face-to-face and virtual event, with full support of the CIB. Melbourne’s cosy winter weather failed to dampen the spirits of delegates who were clearly delighted to connect personally.

The event was opened by Victorian Treasurer The Hon Tim Pallas MP, who reinforced the value of the built environment industry to Victoria’s economy. Mr Pallas highlighted the significant prospects for employment in the industry and the opportunities and initiatives for industry research across all disciplines to support the booming and critical construction industry.

Tim Pallas

*The Hon Tim Pallas MP at the CIB World Building Congress, Melbourne

Among other esteemed global keynote speakers secured for WBC2022 was Victoria’s Director-General of Major Transport Infrastructure Authority, Corey Hannett. As the state’s Director-General, Mr Hannett has been overseeing Victoria’s extraordinary pipeline of major transport infrastructure projects since 2014, responsible for delivering some of the largest transport projects in Australia.

*Corey Hannett at the CIB World Building Congress, Melbourne

In a show of tremendous support for the Victorian and Australian construction industry, both Tim Pallas and Corey Hannett emphasised the value of industry innovation networks and applied research. Each spoke to the value of connectivity, innovation networks, advanced technology and working practices to improve the industry in a time of great skills deficits and increasing expectations around community and environmental standards. Discussions also stressed the need for researchers to be embedded in industry, to strengthen collaborations, remain at the forefront of challenges and opportunities, and best improve the built environment industry.

The Congress kicked off on Monday 27 June with a welcome reception at Melbourne Town Hall, where guests were welcomed by the Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Nicholas Reece. Wrapping up the opening day was a senior CIB and SBEnrc Board dinner, at which 40 industry, government and research leaders from around the world shared experiences and insights about the future of research in the built environment in a post-pandemic world.

*Don Ward (CEO/CIB), Nicholas Reece, Keith Hampson and Ron Wakefield at the CIB World Building Congress, Melbourne

The WBC2022 Building our Future: Informing practice to enhance the lives of current and future generations centred on themes which included: climate change and environmental sustainability including construction and demolition waste and sustainable supply chains; addressing poverty and inequality through access to social and affordable housing; digital
construction; smart built environment/ cities/ communities including transport networks; industrialised/ offsite construction and pre-assembly; and responding to COVID-19 and how construction and the built environment contribute to economic recovery. SBEnrc industry, government and research teams presented at the event, which also fittingly marked the end of SBEnrc CEO Keith Hampson’s exemplary three-year tenure as CIB President.

*SBEnrc National Team at the CIB World Building Congress, Melbourne

SBEnrc at WBC2022: Research for the world, to the world

Of the near 450 papers from an impressive line-up of international speakers at WBC2022, SBEnrc researchers were selected to present a total of 12 papers over the four days of the event, disseminating industry-relevant research globally via the international platform enabled by the Congress.

The ‘Book of Abstracts’ of all presentations can be found on the WBC2022 website.

SBEnrc project leaders from across our partner universities (Curtin University, Griffith University, Western Sydney University and RMIT University) presented research focused on the Centre’s six current core projects, which also aligned with the Congress themes and 23 categories. The research addresses real business challenges as supported by industry,
government and research partners here in Australia and included the following presentations at WBC2022:

SBEnrc core project 1.81: Developing a Social and Affordable Housing Investment Tool, presented by Judy Kraatz and Sacha Reid of Griffith University:

SBEnrc core project 3.83: FreightSync Proof of Concept, presented by Charlie Hargroves of Curtin University:

SBEnrc core project 2.82: Digitally Enabled Asset Life-cycle Management, presented by Peng Wu of Curtin University:

SBEnrc core project 2.86: Developing Sustainable and Resilient Supply Chains, presented by Yingbin Feng of Western Sydney

SBEnrc core project 1.85: Enhancing the
Use of Products with Recycled Contents
, presented by Tayyab Maqsood of RMIT University:

SBEnrc core project 1.84: Net Zero Corridors, presented by Peter Newman of Curtin University:

Embracing multimedia to deliver globally recognised research to the world

As now-standard protocol for each of our completed industry research projects, the Centre produces accompanying video clips featuring the research findings and impacts. The videos are available on individual project websites and via our dedicated SBEnrc YouTube channel. The SBEnrc leads the world in distributing research to a global audience of peers beyond traditional printed and oral formats to include multimedia, presented in a concise and engaging manner by the respective industry and research leaders who highlight the value of our national industry projects.

In addition to the individual research project videos, we have produced a consolidated clip of the Centre’s last
six core research projects
. Comprising a snappy summary of the projects, this ‘taster’ video, as with all our clips, elevates our commitment to communicating and connecting with the built environment industry more broadly.

Save the date: National Industry Research Workshops series 2022

The SBEnrc continually refreshes our research agenda to ensure we remain industry-focused and directly relevant to address current and future challenges, and to embrace opportunities to engage with industry professionals and leading researchers as we develop new projects.

Please note the next National Industry Research Workshops series will be held as follows:

  • Brisbane, Monday 26 September
  • Sydney, Tuesday 27 September
  • Melbourne, Wednesday 28
  • Perth, Thursday 29 September

We look forward to providing you with further details soon.

We want your research ideas!

We are currently working with our extensive networks to identify and develop themes for the next round of research projects to commence early 2023. If you have a ‘wicked’ problem that could form the basis of our future industry research projects, we want to hear from you. Contact CEO Keith Hampson or COO Ammar Shemery to talk about
your industry challenge.

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.  Australia’s 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