School of Property, Construction & Project Management
Research Topic: Does prefabrication and industrialisation increase sustainability and after lifecycle benefits in the rail construction industry
In many construction projects, prefabrication and industrialisation have been proven to benefit sustainability. These practices can virtually provide multi-life assets while minimising costs/time and enhancing quality and safety. In rail construction, these innovations have long been utilised for certain elements of the rail assets but not all. Paper reports on a research initiated to investigate the contribution of prefabrication/industrialisation to increasing sustainability and the whole lifecycle benefits in the rail construction industry in Australia and embraces a broad definition of the term “sustainability” in rail construction projects including energy and water efficiency, health and safety, durability and quality, pollution reduction, and sustainable society/community.
The qualitative research employs a case study approach. A variety of stakeholders will be interviewed in each project case. Soft Systems Methodology forms frame work for performing and NVivo will interpret the results and information from the case study interviews drawing a rich picture used to model the Ideal situation. The Focus Group will be used to evaluate the model in comparison with the real life practice. The research question formed via collective readings as: ‘Does prefabrication and industrialisation increase sustainability and whole lifecycle benefits in the rail construction industry?’
The Australian Rail Construction market which will benefit from this investigation comprises Australian Federal/State Government, the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) including Rail Contractors Group (RCG), Rail Manufacturers Group (RMG), and Rail Suppliers Network Australasia (RSNA).