Direct engagement, independent analysis, verifiable evidence.
The Centre for Informatics Research and Innovation (CiRi) focusses on pragmatic inquiry, specifically designed to examine complex issues from a multitude of practice perspectives. Our approach demands multi-disciplinary expertise coupled with current experience in professional practice. We aim to be an agent of meaningful change in business and society.
Our researchers are especially well-versed in the design of participatory and inclusive forms of study, supported through practical knowledge of the latest advances in dynamic forecasting and data analytics techniques.
We have particular expertise in sophisticated simulation modelling and machine learning algorithms, where data visualisation is used to improve understanding and communication.
Improving the accommodation options for disadvantaged people in Australia
The place we live and who we live with has such a fundamental impact on well-being and quality of life. Those with the resources may be able to pick and choose, but for many there are precious few options and far too many barriers to accessing appropriate accommodation. Our researchers are developing new economic models and policy frameworks that help protect residents and promote more affordable and appropriate housing options.
For example, Beyond the Group Home investigates different supported accommodation models and the quality of life outcomes for people with disability receiving high support. The disability housing stock in Australia is characterised by a prevalence of group home accommodation, where 4 or 5 people living with disability occupy a single house. With funding from Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), this project will enable housing providers and urban policy makers to make informed decisions about the design and provision of individualised apartment style accommodation in mixed tenure settings.
Making the value of every dollar count in delivering outstanding construction projects
The annual expenditure on construction work in Australia is eye-watering, but are we getting appropriate bang for our buck? How can we escape the twin horns of so many of our building projects, running over budget and over time? From the home refurbishment to the mega transport infrastructure, issues abound for procurement, supply, management, productivity, quality assurance, and pretty much every stage and aspect of the construction process. We recognise that such a complex set of issues demands a practical and multi-layered solution. Our approach combines new insights in project management with sophisticated cost forecasting, emerging opportunities in dynamic supply chain modelling with production-focussed productivity gains, advanced analytics techniques with sound practical expertise.
For example, our study of Installation Productivity in Prefabricated Construction shows how a focus on current labour-based studies of productivity totally misrepresent key potential savings. A case study analysis and advanced digital simulation of how the use of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) impacts productivity on the construction of a 10-storey building, identifies optimised crane cycle speeds as the critical resource in tall timber construction methods. The work promotes greater use and more efficient application of timber as an effective alternative process solution to medium-rise building construction.
Greening, green, greener. Pushing the sustainability boundaries of the built environment
The built environment is responsible for about 40% of all carbon emissions globally. 10% is tied up in the production of construction materials and 30% in the energy used to heat, cool and light buildings in use. Greenery in our urban areas significantly helps reduce over-heating, can greatly improve the quality of the air, and is a known key factor in our health, learning, and general well-being. Our mixed discipline research group are working to green our building materials, green our building energy, and green our built environment through the planning, design, construction and operation of new buildings, but most especially through radically new approaches to building retrofit, valuation, and building use.
For example, working across Faculties at UTS, innovative Green Algae Panels are being trialled. Suitably conditioned, microalgae naturally convert sunlight into energy as heat, can be used to produce a fuel-oil derivative, and then be used directly in the form of a combustible biomass. For this project, UTS is installing and operating green algae farms to evaluate the feasibility of using large panels containing algae as building components from which energy can be harvested and the insulating properties of the algae biomass can be utilised to control building temperature and reduce heating requirements.
A network of expertise
CiRi is an active member in the broader UTS network of research expertise, contributing to our status as a leading international university of technology.
The broader UTS research network available through CiRi has a number of key research strengths, focusing on critical strategic research areas in:
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