Building research centres get boost

Building research centres get boost

The Morrison government is set to pump millions of dollars into two industry-led research centres tasked with modernising the nation’s building industry and developing lower-cost housing solutions for Australians.

The dual building and concrete research programs are expected to create savings in the industry of up to $1.8bn over 15 years, with $783m of that from reduced project costs and $408m from fewer construction delays.

It comes as Australia’s $220bn building and construction industry faces a potential slowdown amid fears of an extended disruption to the supply chain of Chinese-made materials triggered by COVID-19.

The pandemic has served as a further blow to the industry after defects led to the evacuation of three Sydney apartment blocks.

Industry Minister Karen Andrews told The Australian on Tuesday the bodies’ research would aim to place Australia “among the world leaders” in the advanced manufacture of buildings.

“Affordable, sustainable and safe housing is something that concerns all Australians. It’s vital we do what we can to make construction more efficient and cost-effective, without reducing quality,” Ms Andrews told The Australian on Tuesday.

“Making sure our homes and apartments are built to the highest standards is particularly important given recent issues which have disrupted the lives of Aussie families and impacted confidence in the sector.”

The Building 4.0 Co-operative Research Centre (CRC), which aims to decrease waste and create buildings that are cheaper but more efficient, will receive $28m. A separate SmartCrete CRC will get $21m in government support to secure the long-term viability of vital concrete infrastructure.

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