the problem   

The Australian Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) sector is worth over AU$134 billion a year to the national economy. However, it faces major challenges. The sector consumes natural resources and energy at unsustainable rates, while also being responsible for a significant portion of national carbon emissions. Further, it has been slow to adapt to advances in architectural computing including industry-specific applications of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Digital Fabrication, and Big-Data analytics. Consequently, sector is plagued with performance and productivity problems, compromised efficiency, and reduced international competitiveness. A sector-wide digital transformation strategy to become more innovative is essential.  


Arch_Manu’s research and training activities aim to contribute to reduced carbon emissions, resource consumption and waste production within the AEC sector, while delivering projects on time, on budget, for the benefit of the community. These 6 objectives underpin all the work that we do.   

our research   

Arch_Manu will harness digital data, processes, workflows, and tools to deliver sustainable productivity and efficiency improvements in the AEC sector. The research will investigate when and how digital strategies in the Architecture, Design, and Engineering industries can deliver new solutions, services, or modes of operation that can fundamentally change the way buildings are designed and manufactured, while also seeking net-positive solutions.   

Arch_Manu’s integrated, cross-disciplinary, and innovative research framework is designed to bridge current gaps in knowledge and practice through three key interconnected research themes, each containing 7-8 embedded PhD projects:    

  1. Analytics, unlocking the potential of historic project data. The Analytics Lab focuses on leveraging data used in architectural design and engineering businesses, using big data analysis, automation, and machine learning to extrapolate future patterns and develop new knowledge and models.  
  1. Synthesis of creative operational processes and practices in design. The Synthesis Lab focuses on developing more efficient, reliable, and effective workflows, software, and tools to leverage data and automation in Architecture, Design, and Engineering.  
  1. Management of business processes and commercial models.The Management Lab explores new business and commercial potentials arising from digital transformation processes in Architecture, Design, and Engineering; rethinking traditional business models and developing strategies to invest in technology for maximum financial returns.   

If you would like to see how the theme labs and all projects are connected, visit our KUMU page.   

In addition to traditional research outputs such as journals and books, Arch_Manu’s research outcomes will be disseminated through our training offering of CPD and stackable short courses. We have a mandate to contribute to the upskilling of industry through targeted training of our own researchers and partners, while also making the content accessible to the sector more broadly.   

Find out more about our three research labs: