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published: 14/8/2013

BRE Trust - providing continued support in a challenging, changing industry

BRE Trust invests £2.7 million in knowledge, research and built environment innovation.

Chairman of the BRE Trust, Sir Neville Simms, has emphasised the ‘critical importance’ of providing continued support for knowledge, research and innovation in a challenging, changing built environment. Speaking at the BRE Trust’s Annual General Meeting earlier today, Sir Neville commended the Trust on achieving its key objectives for the 2012/13 financial year, despite the ongoing economic challenges faced by the construction sector.

BRE Trust funding for built environment education projects exceeded £2.7 million over the past year. Forming a fundamental part of its mission to drive change and advance knowledge, innovation and communication for public benefit, the Trust’s seminal research and publications programmes continue to go from strength to strength.

Applied research

The BRE Trust’s Thematic and Responsive Mode Research Programmes delivered 25 successful projects in 2012/13, leveraging a total of £2 million in external contributions. The successful launch of the £1.5 million Future Cities scheme, which aims to generate new tools, products and services to support sustainable city operation, has already leveraged over £3 million in external funding and attracted over 60 project partners. This has initiated a connected international programme which exceeds £25m in size.

The majority of research programmes were commissioned principally, but not exclusively, from the Trust’s main subsidiary company, the BRE Group. Dissemination of outputs from this research achieved significant outreach, with more than 50 new publications launched and over 200,000 downloads of BRE titles by a wide cross-section of the supply chain. Development of a new digital information platform will support effective and efficient delivery in the future. The BRE Trust Research Committee has now approved 15 new Responsive research projects and 8 Future Cities proposals for 2013/14.

Publications

During 2012/13, BRE Trust spent a total of £960k on the research and production of over 50 new publications. These valuable sources of data, information and knowledge are used extensively throughout the construction industry, and many are referred to in legislation.

For the fourth successive year, BRE Trust also supported the production of Building4change.com, the online knowledge hub dedicated to sustainability, innovation and best practice in the built environment. The website now has 60,000 subscribers from across the construction sector. In 2012/13, Building4change also published two new technical supplements focused on innovation in retrofit and technology.

University Centres Of Excellence

BRE Trust continues to provide funding to support research carried out at five BRE University Centres of Excellence (UCEs):

University of Bath - BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials

University of Strathclyde - BRE Centre for Energy Utilisation

University of Edinburgh - BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering

Cardiff University - BRE Centre for Sustainable Design of the Built Environment

Cardiff University - BRE Centre for Computational Analysis

A new University centre has now joined the group, hosted by the University of Brasilia, focused on integrated sustainable communities. This will provide important international outreach to the current cohort. In the six years since the launch of the UCEs, BRE Trust has funded over 130 PhD studentships, 75 staff and associates and generated a research portfolio worth more than £35 million.

Nurturing new construction talent

In February 2013, BRE Trust and the Worshipful Company of Constructors (WCC) presented the first Royal Charter International Research Award for Young Constructors to Natacha Redon of Turner and Townsend. Her upcoming project will look at creating a performance model that enables project managers to effectively deliver a range of key outcomes for an energy efficient building. The project will be conducted across Austria, Germany, France and the UK. Natacha will receive £7k towards the cost of her study, which will subsequently be published by IHS BRE Press.

“In a challenging, changing industry, the support that BRE Trust provides in funding knowledge, research and innovation is of critical importance,” said Sir Neville Simms. “Working in partnership with the BRE University Centres of Excellence and organisations such as WRAP, we aim to continue our wide range of education programmes, providing essential assistance to all those who are working to drive positive change in the built environment.”

For more information contact Deborah Pullen, BRE’s Group Research Director on 01923 664357 or email pullend@bre.co.uk


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