Research > Synthesis > 05

Starting point: 

What are the effective strategies for enhancing collaboration among actors in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) sector to improve productivity and efficacy? 

This topic may include consideration of: new service offerings in architecture through examining the challenges, constraints, and pain points experienced in defining and acting on a design brief; the barriers to codification of human readable data beyond the architect’s domain; and the opportunities of digital tools such as APIs, systems/software, front-end interfaces, or XR/AR/VR in addressing these issues.  

Project Summary: 

Zero energy, zero emission, and zero waste for the construction process and beyond are highly desirable concepts in the current context of climate change. To promote a Triple zero future, we should construct our buildings as ephemeral structures so they would not leave any negative footprint on planet Earth and can be dissembled and fed back into the life cycle again. We need to demonstrate how this circular idea can be implemented most efficiently to precipitate legislation for a circular economy. Since the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) sector lags in adopting the tools from the Industrial Revolution 4.0 because of its multi-facetted dependencies and unique nature of work [1], the building industry needs to embrace new technologies to optimize the communications between all stakeholders and team members. 

The sector has already been positively affected by some technologies, enhancing efficiency in processes and communication. However, the rapid advancement in digital technologies, such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), digital twins, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI), is an essential means to achieve the potential of a more sustainable and circular industry. [2] Although establishing the technology will be the easiest of all exercises, changing our way of thinking and eliminating our comfort and daily grind will be humankind’s biggest challenge. Upgrading or even changing the mindset of a stubborn professional field like the building industry will only be manageable if we work more collaboratively. Integrated Practices (IPs) can be seen as a team structure in which two or more people aggregate their skills, expertise, information, and knowledge towards offering the best solution. It entails holistic and inclusive approaches geared toward synergizing building project participants, processes, technology, information, and contract arrangements along the project delivery lifecycle. [3] 

This deployment of diverse digital tools is a big chance for architects to be a vital part of the later building phases again. The exchange with structural analysis software allows the architect and engineer to prep the construction for fabrication up to its necessary accuracy. Every building item can be manufactured, labeled, and controlled by using QR Codes for assembly. In the same way, the preparation of a building site could be simulated and planned in detail by the construction company. Clash detection and site and material coordination could be planned to optimize the construction site procedure. For the AEC industry, IP (Integrated Practice) covers exactly these three phases: design, construction, and delivery, which are the three principal components of a project’s life cycle [3]. 

The aim is to leverage new technologies that enhance the creative process and empower designers to incorporate knowledge derived from previous projects. 

This Ph.D. topic will be tested on 3D-printed housing projects as a case study to optimize the collaborative process and the performative characters of the printed building elements. 


1. Khan, Ayaz, Samad Sepasgozar, Tingting Liu, and Rongrong Yu. 2021. “Integration of BIM and Immersive Technologies for AEC: A Scientometric-SWOT Analysis and Critical Content Review” Buildings 11, no. 3: 126. 

2. Bellini A, Bang S. 2022. “Barriers for data management as an enabler of circular economy: an exploratory study of the Norwegian AEC-industry”, IOP Conf. Ser.: Earth Environ. Sci. 1122 012047. https://doi:10.1088/1755-1315/1122/1/012047 

3. Ayodele Emmanuel Ikudayisi, Albert P.C. Chan, Amos Darko, Yomi M.D. Adedeji. 2023. “Integrated practices in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industry: Current scope and pathway 

PhD Candidate

Alexander Jung

PhD Supervisors

A/Prof M. Hank Haeusler

Prof Michael Ostwald

Enrolled at

UNSW School of Built Environment