• Associate Prof. M. Hank Haeusler is partnering with Luyten 3D to develop a 3D print system which will construct housing in remote regions using local materials, while also being faster and cheaper than conventional construction. The project will transport 3D printers to remote locations and construct housing using digital fabrication technology. In doing so, it will reduce labour requirements, energy consumption and the environmental impact associated with construction, including a projected 60 per cent reduction in waste.

    This research is strongly aligned with the objectives of the recently established ARC Centre for Next-Gen Architectural Manufacturing at UNSW Built Environment, where A/Prof. Haeusler is also Director.

    Read more about the project here.

    Portable 3D concrete printers are being developed to increase construction efficiency and reduce waste and other costs, particularly when building in remote parts of Australia. Photo: Aurora Hui Qi
  • UNSW Built Environment researchers were named as investigators in two new ARC Discovery projects in 2023.

    A/Prof. JuHyun Lee and Prof. Michael Ostwald were awarded $310,000 for the project Architectural Design Across Spaces and Cultures: Technology and Language, which addresses two related challenges facing Australia’s architectural sector: 1. how teams can work productively in an online setting and 2. managing the complexity of designing with international partners. Industry reports argue that poor use of technology and misunderstandings in online, multicultural and multilingual teams are responsible for costly delays across the sector. This project will investigate the impacts of designing in online, diverse teams and provide insights into how Australian architects can better identify communication breakdowns, work productively across borders and recognise and stimulate innovation. The project will be run from the new Advanced Architectural Analytics Laboratory (A³ LAB) at UNSW Built Environment.

    ARC Discovery Project ‘Architectural Design Across Spaces and Cultures: Technology and Language’

    A/Prof. Riccardo Paolini is part of a team (with Professor Gianluca Ranzi and Assistant Professor Kwok Shah at the University of Sydney) awarded $567,000 for the project Adaptive daytime radiative cooling and heating for buildings. The project aims to develop adaptive daytime radiative cooling and heating technology suitable for the reduction of energy consumption in buildings, and to mitigate urban overheating in the built environment.

  • A/Prof. Lan Ding and Prof. Deo Prasad were awarded $483,518 in partnership with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment to set the groundwork for a National Heat Vulnerability Observatory (NaHVO). Phase 1 of the research will pilot the Observatory in two regional cities (Maitland and Dubbo) and develop a plan to scale it to a national level. The research will create rigorous national datasets and an innovative, robust and consistent methodology to report and measure the heat vulnerability issues and cooling potential in cities across Australia.

    Read more about the project here

    Southlake in Dubbo. 3D visualisation of urban heat and cooling potential of mitigation options for different sub-division scenarios on the NSW Digital Twin platform
  • The collaboration between Dr. Luciano Cardellicchio (UNSW Sydney), Dr Paolo Stracchi (University of Sydney) and Prof. Paolo Tombesi (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) made global waves in 2023, the year of the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Sydney Opera House. Their research, documenting the ingenuity and craftsmanship of the building’s rarely celebrated contractor Hornibrook, uses virtual reality to capture the detailed schedules, drawings and building components that made the iconic building a reality.

    Their research made the front page of L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui and Casabella, and sparked invited visiting lectures at Yale, MIT and Berkeley, as well as a special event entitled ‘Trilogy: the architect, engineer and contractor’ at the Sydney Opera House itself.

    Front covers of L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui and Casabella, featuring the research of Dr. Luciano Cardellicchio (UNSW Sydney), Dr Paolo Stracchi (University of Sydney) and Prof. Paolo Tombesi (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)
    Front covers of L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui and Casabella, featuring the research of Dr. Luciano Cardellicchio (UNSW Sydney), Dr Paolo Stracchi (University of Sydney) and Prof. Paolo Tombesi (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)
  • UNSW Built Environment and the City Futures Research Centre are collaborating with RMIT and Curtin University on a research grant from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) to investigate ways to improve housing policy and disasters.

    The research will focus on three areas led by respective universities. They are: integrating policy, planning and disaster prevention (led by RMIT), improving community resilience to future disasters (led by UNSW) and improving coordination of data and actors (led by Curtin University). The total grant is $598,060, and includes UNSW researchers Prof. David Sanderson, Prof. Hal Pawson, Renate Carius, Dr. Edgar Liu, and Dr. Tim Heffernan.

  • In 2023 not one, but two projects led by UNSW Built Environment researchers were exhibited at the Venice Biennale. The ‘Registry of Itinerant Architectures’ was curated by A/Prof. Ainslie Murray and is an online register that records encounters with wild, mobile, fleeting and unlikely structures in varied geographic, social, cultural and political settings.

    Shallow Roots, Deep Incisions was curated by A/Prof. Joshua Zeunert is an audiovisual work exploring the ‘agricultural sublime’—the awe, beauty and terror of Australia’s agri-food production landscapes.

    Shallow Roots, Deep Incisions by A/Prof. Joshua Zeunert.
  • Prof. Deo Prasad led a team publishing a new national reference guide that documents a pathway to achieving ‘whole of life’ net zero carbon for Australian buildings by 2040. Entitled Race to Net Zero Carbon, the research details critical information about materials and construction best practices to help architects, engineers and planners transform the building industry to net zero.

    Prof. Hazel Easthope led a team from UNSW and RMIT publishing the report Delivering sustainable apartment housing: New build and retrofit. Funded by AHURI, the research investigates how Australia can supply new-build apartments, and retrofit older apartments, so that they are sustainable, comfortable, deliver cost reductions and reduce life cycle carbon and waste emissions.

  • Prof. Chris Pettit, Director of the City Futures Research Centre, and several colleagues, were awarded $500,000 for a ‘National Cycling Data and Analytics Platform’ to collect, integrate, and communicate data on cycling infrastructure, attitudes, and behaviours. This project will address the issue of data fragmentation, pilot a national cycling survey, and develop a ‘cycling toolkit’ to explore and test cycling infrastructure scenarios.

  • In August 640 attendees from 49 countries travelled to UNSW to attend the 11th International Conference on Urban Climate, co-chaired by Dr. Negin Nazarian of UNSW Built Environment and A/Prof. Melissa Hart of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes at UNSW Science.

    ICUC11 was a testament to the School of Built Environment’s reputation in cities and climate research across diverse disciplines (encompassing urban design, health, and policy). This event successfully united an international network of experts with a national audience of stakeholders and partners and showcased a versatility in methods and scales to address the urgent climate challenges facing cities

    Attendees at the ICUC11 Conference at UNSW