Better building practices to be aided by digital know-how

19th March 2020

A QUT researcher will head a program in which digital transformation will help make the construction of Australian buildings safer, faster, cheaper and smarter.

It will complement other programs on building and sectorial transformation led by Monash University and the University of Melbourne.

Professor Robin Drogemuller will lead QUT’s participation in the new Building 4.0 Cooperative Research Centre which this week received a $28M grant from the Australian Government.

Based at Monash University in partnership with the University of Melbourne, and in collaboration with QUT, the Building 4.0 CRC links 30 industry partners and aims to transform how buildings are designed and manufactured in Australia.

Professor Robin Drogemuller

Its partners bring expertise in fields essential to the transformation of the construction industry, from architecture, design, planning and construction, to engineering, business, information technology, and law. It will also explore the latest technologies, data science and artificial intelligence to enable the application of robotics and digital fabrication.

Professor Drogemuller’s program will focus on ‘Digital Transformation’ through the development of an integrated, digital project platform to foster an open, connected and more efficient construction value chain.

“Building 4.0 CRC is committed to ensuring buildings meet the needs of the clients as well as the users; those who live or work in them,” said Professor Drogemuller, whose areas of expertise include virtual design and construction.

“It’s about delivering buildings that serve the purpose expected of them in the most efficient way possible as well as reduce the up-front costs, construction waste and Co2 emissions.

“However, we must do all that without compromising on the durability and sustainability of the building and not incur greater costs maintaining the building over its lifetime.

“We want buildings built to last and to be safe for those who occupy them. The QUT program will look at how we can use digital information, design, modelling and construction tools in the process.”

Announced by The Hon Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the $28 million grant leverages a combined $103 million from industry, government and research partners - bringing the combined research budget for the Building 4.0 CRC to $131 million over seven years.

“Building 4.0 CRC demonstrates that industry and government can come together to solve the big issues facing the building industry today,” Monash University’s Professor Mathew Aitchison, Interim CEO of Building 4.0 CRC, said.

“By leveraging this government funding and our deep collaboration with research and training partners, we are committed to putting the Australian industry at the forefront of global developments.”

Building 4.0 CRC is funded by the Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Program, which aims to boost the economy through job creation and position Australia as a leader in the advanced manufacture of buildings.

“The Building 4.0 CRC is a unique concept and long-overdue in that our building industry has lagged when it comes to modernising practices. This is especially so in regard to digital technology and solutions,” said Professor Drogemuller.

For more information on the Building 4.0 CRC, visit

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