Thinking Buildings is essentially a flagship where academia and industry work together to co-create value and implement resilient and sustainable design solutions and initiatives in building and infrastructure projects. 

The ‘Thinking Building’ team, made up of academic staff members and HDR students from Deakin’s School of Architecture and Built Environment, interacts with project at different stages of implementation. The specific competencies of the group include life cycle sustainability assessment, environmental sustainable design, industry practice, Indoor environmental assessment, building performance measurement, digital interoperability in construction and sustainability implementation.

The Thinking Building team therefore adopts a transdisciplinary approach to evaluating resilient, carbon-neutral, and healthy buildings. There are three main levels where transdisciplinary research needs to be pitched. Firstly, problems must be framed together. Secondly, solutions must be jointly developed and tested, and thirdly application of knowledge must be collaboratively implemented. There is little evidence that building projects are developed in transdisciplinary context. Given the difficulties with sustainability – which concerns every human at all levels, transdisciplinary is a promising way to go in-order to ensure climate resilience, healthy buildings, functional spaces, and a flourishing built environment. Our individual discipline-focused approach is too narrow to achieve the complex requirement of a sustainable built environment projects

The outcome from this project will then inspire the development of a software prototype / framework that can facilitate an improved measurement of the life cycle sustainability potential for different scenarios and options in building projects. This framework or tool could be deployed to benchmark and evaluate subsequent projects, during the conceptual stages. We believe the outcome may lead to significant savings in energy and other utilities consumed in buildings.

Currently, the Thinking Buildings team are working on selected City of Greater Geelong projects while developing partnership with other industry stakeholders and organisations. This on-going project seeks to investigate the effectiveness of existing green sustainability rating tools in producing better buildings.

Further information can be found at