Aurecon commits to research hub to advance timber in the built environment

Aurecon has committed $200,000 in funding and in-kind support as a Principal Partner of the $16.5m ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub to Advance Timber for Australia’s Future Built Environment, administered by the University of Queensland.

The hub aims to develop the resources, enablers, and drivers to advance timber, as a natural resource, to be the material of choice, leading towards a net zero future for Australia’s built environment.

Aurecon is involved in various nodes including Performance of Building Components, Manufacturing Innovation, Towards a Low Carbon and Circular Economy and Building Performance for Occupants.

Aurecon’s Major Project Director, Ralph Belperio, who is on the Hub’s Executive Board and Hub Partner Investigator, said that Aurecon has identified that timber has a key role to play in decreasing both embodied and operational carbon as we move towards a net-zero future.

“Several of the research nodes that the Hub is tackling are directly relevant to the decarbonisation pursuits of many of our key clients,” Belperio said. “We have assembled a team of our most eminent practitioners to focus on each of the relevant nodes that can help guide the research strategies to ensure that the outcomes remain industry focused and meet the needs of the broader construction community.

“Our significant investment is key to our desire to remain at the forefront of innovation, both in the efficient and effective use of timber in our efforts to decarbonise the built environment, and in our broader drive for more sustainable outcomes”.

Aurecon has an enviable track record of designing and delivering mass-engineered timber structures, including Murdoch University’s Boola Katitjin, which won the 2023 Engineers Australia Project of the Year; 25 King St, which is Australia’s tallest mass-engineered timber commercial building; and Gaia, one of the largest mass-engineered timber buildings in Asia.

Aurecon also contributes to mass-engineered timber advocacy as a partner of the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership Coalition on Greening Construction with Sustainable Wood and the Materials Embodied Carbon Leaders’ Alliance.

The research support for the ARC Advance Timber Hub is just one of a number of research and development commitments that Aurecon is currently undertaking, including the development of sustainable alternatives for sand in shotcrete, improving design through AI-assisted stakeholder engagements, and reducing wastage through circular economy approach to building retrofits.