Transforming advanced manufacturing piece by piece

Engineering collaboration with Speedpanel
Collaboration with Speedpanel, University of Melbourne and Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre

The University of Melbourne, in collaboration with Speedpanel Australia, has been awarded $3 million to undertake an Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre Project that will research and develop innovative pre-fabricated building systems for three years.

The aim of the CRC collaboration is to unlock the potential growth of Australia’s prefabricated building industry by creating a co-operative knowledge exchange between Speedpanel Australia, Speedpanel International and the University.

Lead researcher, University of Melbourne Associate Professor Tuan Ngo from the Department of Infrastructure Engineering, said the iBuildCRC project will develop an innovative building system using advanced manufacturing techniques for faster and cheaper construction.

“This new panelised system will be a significant advancement on traditional building products because it will be lightweight, easy to construct, reusable, recyclable and have better load resistance,” he said.

“It also promises a much lower carbon footprint.”

University of Melbourne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Jim McCluskey said the University is proud to work closely with industry to lead the delivery of innovation and excellence through the CRC-P.

“The project could secure a competitive advantage for Australian industry, leading to local employment growth and increased exports of prefabricated products and services,” Professor McCluskey said.

Speedpanel Australia Managing Director David Visser said funding from the CRC programme will enable the establishment of a world-class collaborative research platform with the University of Melbourne.

“This will lead to more efficient, sustainable construction in Australia and greater export opportunities. Prefabricated construction is ideal for affordable inner city developments and this technology will help close the gap with reduced construction costs and increased fire protection qualities which are pressing issues for the Government,” Mr Visser said.

CRC-Ps aim to improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries by fostering high quality research to solve industry-identified problems through industry-led and outcome-focused collaborative research partnerships between industry and research organisations.