The Built Environment research program forges collaborations among disciplines with similar interests and among industry, alumni, and international partners.

The aim of the group is to facilitate advanced research in all aspects of sustainable built environment through designing efficient buildings, planning smart cities, creating more liveable places, adopting smart technologies, managing construction projects and life performance of construction materials and components.

Zora Vrcelj, Engineering

Research areas

  • Sustainable Built Environment
  • Green Building Design
  • Energy and Buildings
  • Occupant Thermal Comfort
  • Post Occupancy Evaluation, Passive Design
  • Condensation, Mould and Health
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Sustainable Construction
  • Sustainability of Structures
  • Building Defects
  • Sustainable Materials/Use of waste in Construction Materials
  • Structural Stability, Structural Mechanics, Smart Laminated Composite Structures
  • Building Fire Safety and Risk Engineering
  • Passive Fire Protecting Polymeric Materials
  • Combustion of Cellulosic Materials and Bush Fires
  • Health Implications of Unspent Antibiotics and Their Transformed Products in the Aquatic Systems
  • Minimally Invasive and Reliable Bio-imaging Systems using Carbon Quantum Dots
  • Project Management
  • Information Systems Management
  • Value for Money on Infrastructure Procurement
  • Healthy Communities and Infrastructure
  • Transport Infrastructure Planning and Appraisal
  • Built Environment Higher Education Pedagogy
  • Digital Learning

Research projects

Planetary health grants

The following projects have received support from VU's planetary health initiative:

  • Fire Resilient Durable and Sustainable Geopolymer Concrete made with Recycled Materials for Concrete Tunnel Construction and 3D Concrete Printing (Maurice Guerrieri, Sam Fragomeni, Khalid Moinuddin, Paul Joseph, Ehsan Yaghoubi, Wasantha Liyanage)
  • Sustainable Infrastructure - Engineering & Science, Health and Business Innovation (Melissa Chan, Romana Morda, Catherine Lou, Zora Vrcelj)
  • Experimental development and characterization of eco-bricks and panels made from take-away coffee cups and plastics (Zora Vrcelj, Yanni Bouras, Malindu Sandanayake, Rudi VanStaden, Paul Joseph)
  • Developing VU into a green, sustainable and climate smart campus (Nitin Muttil, Anne Ng, Hing-Wah Chau)

Other projects

  • Development of a systematic regulatory framework for optimising the construction process of a building to minimise defects, VBA collaboration (Malindu Sandanayake, Zora Vrcelj)
  • Automation in building defects inspection – use of cost-effective smart technologies for effective control on construction of residential buildings, VBA collaboration (Malindu Sandanayake M, Zora Vrcelj)
  • Green Our Rooftop Project, City of Melbourne (Elmira Jamei, Hing-Wah Chau)
  • Drivers of Users’ Embracement of 3D Digital Educational Spaces in Higher Education: A Qualitative Approach, Research Support Grant SCU (R Ghanbarzadeh, Amir Ghapanchi)

Staff & students

Read about our staff and students, and find out more via links to our researcher biographies.

Associate Professor Zora Vrcelj
Associate Professor in Structural Engineering
Head of Built Environment Discipline

Building surveying

Dr Tim Law
Lecturer in Building Surveying

Built environment

Dr Hing-Wah Chau
Lecturer in Built Environment

Dr Elmira Jamei
Senior Lecturer in Built Environment

Construction management

Melissa Chan
Lecturer in Construction Management

Dr Malindu Sandanayake
Lecturer in Construction Management

Materials science

Dr Paul Joseph
Associate Professor in Materials Science

Project management

Yanni Bouras
Lecturer in Construction Management

Dr Amir Hossein Ghapanchi
Senior Lecturer in Project Management.

  • Robert Haigh (supervisory team: Zora Vrcelj, Yanni Bouras, Malindu Sandanayake)
  • Walid Ahmed (supervisory team: Zora Vrcelj, Malindu Sandanayake)
  • Mina Ranjbaran (supervisory team: Zora Vrcelj, Malindu Sandanayake, Elmira Jamei)
  • Lisa Sahyoune (supervisory team: Amir Ghapanci, G Raikundalia)
  • Sarani Kannangara (supervisory team: Sam Fragomeni, Maurice Guerrieri, Paul Joseph)
  • Sahar Radi (supervisory team: Paul Joseph, Andrew Smallridge)
  • Samson Tan (supervisory team: Khalid Moinuddin, Paul Joseph, Darryl Weinert)
  • Malavika Arun (supervisory team: Paul Joseph, Stephen Bigger)
  • Ananya Thomas ((supervisory team: Paul Joseph, Khalid Moinuddin)

  • Md Tauhidul Islam (supervisory team: Zora Vrcelj, Yanni Bouras)
  • Jason Cardozo (supervisory team: Zora Vrcelj, Yanni Bouras, Malindu Sandanayake)

  • Dr M. Ghiji (Postdoctoral Research Fellow: Vasily Novozhilov, Khalid Moinuddin, Paul Joseph)
  • Dr J. V. Karakkat (Visiting Fellow: Daniel Lai, Kulmira Nurgali, Paul Joseph)

Partners, funders & collaborators

We collaborate with a number of high-profile private and public organisations, and Australian universities.

  • Deakin University
  • Swinburne University of Technology
  • RMIT University
  • La Salle University
  • University of Technology Sydney
  • University of Sunshine Coast
  • Deakin University
  • University of Melbourne
  • Monash University
  • Western Sydney University

  • The Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA)
  • ClosedLoop
  • Hendry Group
  • McKenzie Group
  • Transurban
  • Master Builders
  • ARUP
  • BrightCell Energy Co
  • Maribyrnong City Council
  • Wyndham City Council
  • Mathematical Institute of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Science
  • Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA)
  • Victorian Building Authority (VBA)