Housing at Melbourne
The diversity and quality of housing-related research at the University of Melbourne positions our collective expertise to respond to the major social, economic and environmental housing challenges.
The comprehensive and research-intensive nature of the University means we can deploy different ways of understanding for solutions across our national priorities and ‘wicked problems’ such as housing affordability, urban density and combating unsustainable building and planning practice.
The following research projects and groups are working with industry and government to inform housing solutions. These projects are just a snapshot of work exploring housing challenges at the University.
The Melbourne Housing EXPO is an opportunity for state and local government, industry and researchers to investigate and demonstrate alternative approaches to housing for Melbourne. The EXPO will explore policy settings innovations, finance and delivery models that increase the provision of affordable and social housing; place making, design, construction prefabrication, environmental performance and smart technology to address Victoria’s changing demographics, aging population and the urgent need to increase supply near transport, jobs and services.
Transforming Housing: Affordable Housing for All is action-research focused on influencing and supporting the transformation of the housing policy and delivery environment in Victoria. It facilitates collaborations with industry, government and philanthropic organisations to improve affordable housing outcomes for very low to moderate income households. Key objectives focus on policy reform, development and advocacy; innovative project development, delivery support and evaluation; and industry and research capacity building.
The Thrive Research Hub investigates the life cycle environmental performance of buildings, infrastructure, neighbourhoods and cities. The buildings of the future will rely heavily on sustainably sourced renewable materials. They will be manufactured, constructed and operated using renewable energy sources. They will enhance the health and wellbeing of their occupants, creating places in which people can thrive.
The Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI) facilitates and enables research linkages, projects and conversations leading to increased understanding of sustainability and resilience trends, challenges and solutions. Our recent cost-benefit analysis found that it is cheaper to provide last resort housing to homeless people than to leave them sleeping rough. This work is executed by SGS Economics & Planning, pro bono, and led by a Steering Committee with members from Transforming Housing; third sector organisations; academics; architects, and concerned property developers.
The Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing (CAMP.H) is led by the Melbourne School of Engineering and works with companies associated with the construction of prefabricated housing. The research is focussed on a range of areas to help address key research questions within the construction sector. This covers design innovation, advanced building systems, new materials, financing and affordability, and supply chain performance.
The studio teaching that occurs in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning brings our students together in small collaborative groups across architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, urban planning and engineering. Speculative exploration of the future of housing happens in all of these disciplines and there are many overlaps and adjacent lines of enquiry.