Swinburne and Speedpanel collaborate to revolutionise construction industry

Friday 5 July 2019

Swinburne researcher Saya Ramakrishnan and Speedpanel’s Peter Bernhardt test the structural, acoustic and fire performance of new materials to enhance the Speedpanel design.

In summary

  • Swinburne collaborates with Speedpanel to develop the next-generation of popular fire and acoustic-rated wall system, ‘Speedpanel 2.0’
  • Swinburne researchers will develop and test the performance of new materials to enhance design and reduce carbon footprint  
  • The project worth more than $4.4 million is co-funded by the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC)

Swinburne has recently partnered with the leading Australian manufacturer of fire and acoustic-rated wall systems, Speedpanel, to produce a next-generation product for the construction industry, 'Speedpanel 2.0'.

As part of a three-year project worth $4.4 million, Swinburne researchers will apply advanced manufacturing principles to research, develop and test the structural, acoustic and fire performance of new, low-carbon materials.

By replacing the cement core of its proven wall systems with another lightweight and environmentally-friendly material, Speedpanel hopes to transform the production technology, reduce costs, improve process time and agility, and lower the carbon footprint.

The project is co-funded by the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC), a not-for-profit organisation helping Australian companies increase research-led innovation in manufacturing, processes and services. 

Director of Swinburne’s Centre for Sustainable Infrastructure and project lead, Professor Jay Sanjayan, says Swinburne is proud to work alongside an industry leader like Speedpanel with the help of the IMCRC.

“This project provides a great opportunity for our team to go beyond the laboratories and use our ground-breaking research to develop new materials and technologies that have the potential to revolutionise the construction industry.”

Speedpanel Innovation and Technology Manager, Peter Bernhardt, says Speedpanel 2.0 will be a game changer for the building and construction market.

“New methods of manufacturing, combined with exciting, new, innovative and sustainable materials, are set to enhance our versatile range and further reduce our carbon footprint,” he says.

CEO and Managing Director of the IMCRC, David Chuter, says there is a greater potential for the adoption of advanced manufacturing technology in Australia’s building and construction industry.

“Speedpanel has recognised the need to further develop and evolve production processes, components and systems used to increase efficiency, productivity and respond to market demands. Aligning its manufacturing capabilities, and investing in the development of new materials and technologies, will create a breadth of opportunity across the entire supply chain as it develops the next generation of Speedpanel products,” says Mr Chuter.

The project will be a collaboration with industry partners such as Independent Cement Limited, Redox and Speedfoam, leveraging synergies and delivering affordable, high-quality products and services that benefit the wider building and construction industry.