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Social Research

Adding value through quantitative, qualitative and experimental research

People are at the heart of all that we do at BRE.

People bring an additional element to the built environment by transforming buildings from plain bricks and mortar into complex, emotive and dynamic zones for work and play. With this in mind, understanding people’s views about the environment they spend their time in is essential in creating a positive impact on the built environment. Our team of expert researchers are equipped to help you gain the most from your projects, ensuring that what you build supports how real people think, feel and behave.

Why BRE?

As specialists in topics across the built environment, at BRE we have the unique ability to combine our social research skills with expert knowledge across a range of technical subjects. We can provide valuable insight and a well-rounded service that covers important issues such as energy efficiency, health, comfort, productivity, construction, crime and neighbourhood regeneration. 

What can we do for you?

With our multidisciplinary team, we offer a broad spectrum of consultancy and experimental services. We undertake qualitative and quantitative research including:

  • Delivering questionnaires and surveys online, by post and by telephone
  • Face-to-face interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Workshops
  • Large-scale testing programmes

We also provide a consultancy service to help you conduct your own social research. We can help you design surveys and ensure that the responses you gain are reliable and valuable. 

Some of our recent work…

Experimental design:

  • Investigating the impact of noise break-out from a number of open plan video conferencing meeting room configurations on the mood and productivity of office occupants
  • Experimenting with fire warning systems; assessing the effectiveness of different visual alarm devices, essential for situations where standard alarms cannot be used. More details...
  • Examining the efficacy of an air-purification system in use within the context of a functioning building

Energy use behaviours:

  • Examining changes in occupant behaviour before and after the installation of solid or cavity wall insulation
  • Investigations of electrical appliance power consumption and how user behaviour can influence consumption
  • Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) of offices, schools and universities – assessing whether buildings continue to meet expected environmental criteria when people are actually living and working in them

Health and wellbeing:

  • Investigating the balance between energy efficiency and occupant health and comfort in offices and homes
  • Health impact assessments (HIA) and cost of poor housing research
     helping you to quantify the health-cost benefits of home improvements

Crime and the built environment:

  • Research into the influence of the built environment on crime hotspots in UK city centres and ways to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour

Do you have a project you would like our help with? Contact us directly at socialresearch@bre.co.uk