Off-site Construction Research Centre

OCRC's contributions to construction innovation: UNB Research Celebration Week

Author: OCRC

Posted on Oct 4, 2023

Category: Research

As part of UNB’s Research Celebration Week from Oct. 2 to Oct. 6, 2023, the UNB Off-site Construction Research Centre (OCRC) is proud to showcase its remarkable achievements and milestones.

Established in 2019 through a visionary partnership between UNB and the OSCO Construction Group (OSCO), OCRC has been at the forefront of transforming the construction industry. The journey began when UNB and OSCO engaged in discussions aimed at creating a research hub that would redefine the construction landscape. This hub was envisioned to be a hub of innovation, poised to steer the industry away from traditional 'stick-built' construction methods towards off-site manufacturing, which includes panelized systems, precast concrete, mass timber and volumetric modular construction.

To date, OCRC has collaborated with over 30 industry partners, embarking on various research themes. These themes include process and productivity improvement projects, digital technology implementation projects, lab testing projects and wide-ranging industry research projects. The impact of their work has been significant, drawing praise from industry leaders like Ramya Swaminathan, CEO of Malta Inc., who said, "Off-site construction to speed deployment, improve reliability and decrease costs is the future of the energy industry. UNB's continuous innovation and leadership in this field will help to accelerate the clean energy transition."

In August 2022, OCRC marked a significant milestone by hosting its inaugural specialty conference in partnership with the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE). This conference was a pioneering event, featuring peer-reviewed papers and real-world case studies, offering attendees a platform to engage in discussions about cutting-edge technologies in the built environment.

Not only does OCRC focus on industry collaboration, but we also nurture the next generation of talent. We host a prestigious student design competition that attracts participants from universities and colleges across Canada. This competition serves as a catalyst for innovation and creativity among young minds, shaping the future of construction.

The dedication and hard work of OCRC's student researchers and mentors have also been recognized through their 'Best Student Paper Award' at the 2023 CSCE Specialty Conference, underscoring their commitment to excellence in research and scholarship.

In summary, the UNB Off-site Construction Research Centre is a beacon of innovation, driving positive change in the construction industry. Through collaborations, pioneering events, and a commitment to nurturing talent, OCRC continues to pave the way for a more efficient, sustainable and innovative construction future.