Digital transformation is essential to the future prosperity of our growing construction sector. The construction industry is still among the least digitalized sectors and the widespread adoption of digital technologies is yet to occur. Many of the construction industry challenges, including poor quality, skilled workforce shortages, production efficiency and high rates of preventable workplace injuries, could be addressed by digital transformation of processes and practices.

We believe our ‘smart’ and cost-effective digital tools will deliver:

  • automated inspection and quality control procedures

  • improved risk identification, health and safety practices

  • transformed educational experience for Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) students and practitioners.

Industry partners

Digitalisation in construction updates

Our team's current activities include the following:

The COSI Lab is a simulated construction site, making it is possible to safely experience the environment without physically accessing it.

The Lab is designed to help develop virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for the construction industry.

Construction of our Construction Simulation (COSI) Lab interior was completed in March 2022 and is now in use by our research team for the smart technology development.

A student using virtual reality tools within the Construction Simulation (COSI) Lab.


Building Design and Architectural Engineering students worked in teams to propose design solutions for enhancing the COSI Lab outdoor space, as part of their design studio studies.

The building façade facing the outdoor space will also be adapted into a cutting-edge facility for digital transformation in construction, and will be coherent with the outdoor space design.

A good proportion of soft and hard landscape components will offer visual relief, alongside carefully selected vegetation, accent colours and artistic sculptures.

The design is required to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), the pillars of planetary health and work within an Indigenous cultural context.

Students are encouraged to explore nature-based design solutions that could re-create micro-habitats, restore wetlands and regrow mini forests (Miyawaki method), towards a nature-positive recovery.

Other requirements include:

  • a low-maintenance design
  • realistic ability to implement in the next few months, in collaboration with the VU Facilities team.

 The final design for the COSI Lab outdoor space