MBV leads post-COVID research project with RMIT
AN extensive research program led by Master Builders Victoria with RMIT University has brought together industry, academia, and government.
The effort is seeking to look around the world to identify global best practice in strengthening the building and construction industry post-COVID.
Last week more than 180 people gathered at the MBV summit, titled Building a Transition, at Olympic Park in Melbourne, and discussed key findings of the research project and how to embrace the opportunities it has highlighted.
In October 2022, in an Australian-first for the building and construction sector, an 18-person delegation undertook a study tour.
The group met key stakeholders across the global building sector and returned with a portfolio of initiatives, tools and case-studies from across Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.
According to MBV CEO Michaela Lihou, the study tour was predicated by an acknowledgement that while Victoria’s building industry has remained resilient in the face of a myriad of COVID-related challenges, it was vital that the industry took an active lead in understanding what would be required for it to not only remain resilient, but to ensure it was genuinely future-ready and well-placed globally.
“I am extremely proud that MBV in partnership with RMIT University, drove and led this important initiative with the support of the Victorian Government and sponsorship from the sector,” she said.
“We know that if we want our industry to succeed in the post-COVID climate, we must look to best practice, wherever we can find it, as well as identifying and considering what hasn’t worked.
“Now is the perfect time for our industry to reflect, regroup and be re-energised with a clearer understanding of how to navigate our ongoing challenges and also make the most of the opportunities that we must grasp.”
The report compiled with RMIT University explores four key areas: the workforce of the future, construction processes and methodologies, climate resilience and industry preparedness, and it also assesses building outcomes and the impacts on consumers.
“As an industry we know we need to continue to evolve,” said Ms Lihou.
“Yes, we need growth, but frankly we also need to work harder to create a much more inclusive and equitable workforce, encourage more sustainable practices and continue to promote a culture of excellence.
“Our industry is about much more than simply the buildings it creates.
“As a major contributor to the Victorian economy, this industry fuels economic growth right across the state and generates significant employment opportunities.
“This is why we involved RMIT University, it’s important that we are working at the nexus of research, practice and policy, and we are really passionate about getting this right.”
Ms Lihou also said she hoped that the report would go on to inform future policy developments, support industry advancements and practices for the industry.
“Translating the learnings from this report into tangible steps forward is what the conversation is about today,” she said.
“I hope that we can make the necessary policy adjustments and improvements to continue to build on the great work the building and construction industry has done, and continues to do, for Victorian communities.”