Collaborative creativity: building envelopes and construction innovation

  • YEAR
    Gardiner, Blair
    Marfella, Giorgio
    2015 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers
    Construction, Materials and Technology


There is a trend in contemporary institutions to commission buildings characterised by façade designs of increasing formal complexity. Building façade systems are an area that demands specialist expertise and that has critical influence on overall building performance, marketing value and construction cost. These buildings can offer, at least in principle, a potential to promote construction innovation. By looking at a highly specialised area of the construction sector, this paper presents the findings from a pilot study that investigates industry perceptions and experiences on innovation through architecturally complex façades. The context of this study is a recently completed tertiary education project in Melbourne built with a novated ‘design and construct’ method of procurement. Semi-structured interviews with key project leaders engaged in the design and delivery of the façade systems offered an in-depth exploration of the differing perceptions about the interpretation of construction innovation among the participants. According to this pilot inquiry, in the context of novated contracts, the industry recognises the critical role of a design ‘gatekeeper’ engaged collaboratively with sub-contractors while the prevailing industry mandate in Victoria, as shared by the participants, is to give priority to innovation opportunities that minimise on-site labour and reduce construction time.


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