Science and Graduate School of Health, Durbach Block Jaggers and BVN
UTS business school, Frank Gehry
UTS Haberfield Rowing Club, HASSELL
Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, Denton Corker Marshall

The Building Genome Project, an initiative of the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, aims to quantify good residential design by assessing the inherent data present in building modelling software and achieving better insights into architectural design performance and compliance.

Though the residential housing sector represents Australia’s single largest and most valuable asset class with a total estimated value of $5.6 trillion (October 2014), there is a serious lack of connection between property data and design and construction data to help assess future developments.

The Building Genome Project team consisting of four academics, all from the UTS Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, believes that today’s access to design and construction statistics and sophisticated modelling technology can help bridge this disconnect, and solve some of the challenges in low and high density residential property development. The team has created an advanced comparative database capable of storing complex building and design data.

Dr Ben Coorey, one of the researchers on the project, explains that architects and developers have limited access to precedent design knowledge in a searchable format. Similar design solutions are being applied over and over again without the ability to improve designs through benchmarking, big data and predictive analytics.

For instance, useful data such as apartment attributes and configurations that contribute to the highest value of return, type of apartment designs that sell the fastest, or appropriate apartment mixes that work best, were not being factored into early stage design processes.

According to Iain Maxwell, lecturer at the UTS School of Architecture, all buildings contain an enormous wealth of untapped intelligence, which can be utilised to improve design quality and compliance issues. He observed that developers can build properties to market requirements if they can access and analyse this data. New designs can be benchmarked in real-time allowing intelligent decision-making at all stages of the building lifecycle.

The Building Genome Project also allows new housing designs to be checked automatically against various planning regulations to assess their compliance and quality.

Associate Professor Julie Jupp from the UTS School of the Built Environment adds that the system is able to generate a user-friendly report, outlining areas of compliance and non-compliance to help builders make better informed decisions during all aspects of the building lifecycle. The research will additionally improve design processes while also boosting the quality of residential design.