Research & innovation

As an independent statutory authority, the Board seeks to model an evidence-based approach to advising government and the community on architectural issues. We know design, architecture and the built environment are a significant part of the NSW economy so how do we make the most of our investment in the long term shape and character of our state?

Measuring Up: innovation and the value-add of architecture

Download Measuring Up: innovation and the value-add of architecture

Architecture at its best can test the limits of technology or trade skill - like the new UTS Chau Chak Wing building, or Renzo Piano’s Macquarie St apartments. Both buildings demanded new building products and technologies to be developed in order to realise the extraordinary vision of the architect. So how do we measure the value of innovation in architecture and our built environment? Or put another way, what contribution does architecture make to the innovation economy when it pushes the envelope of what’s possible? This was the question we asked University of Technology, Sydney to research with us.

The research shows:

  • The architectural sector is structurally under-valued by around 15% or $1bn annually.
  • Architectural tourism in Australia is valued at around $827m
  • The Chau Chak Wing generates around $46m each year in value thanks to local spend from tourists coming to see this innovative building.
  • Real value gets generated when cities develop great precincts. ‘Bundling’ great buildings, spaces and places – like Sydney’s Central Park, a university campus or Green Square – attracts more visitors than a single icon alone.


Past research includes: