BRE Trust Chairman reviews built environment research outputs and announces new trustees

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New BRE Trust Chairman James Wates reviewed the impact and outputs of the UK’s largest charity dedicated to advancing knowledge on built environment through research and education at the annual general meeting of the organisation today.

He also announced the appointment of four new trustees who join the 12 strong team of sector representatives to ensure the work of the Trust maintains its relevance to the challenges and issues faced by the industry. New trustees are Ash Pocock, Head of Industry, Regulation and External Affairs, EDF Energy, Chief Executive of the College of Estate Management, Ashley Wheaton, Francesca Berriman MBE, CEO at CIAT and Professor Nick Jennings, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government on National Security and Regius Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton.

Over the past 12 months, the BRE Trust has invested over £2.7m in built environment research with the objective of driving positive change in the global construction industry with new products, publications and authoritative data to training and education for tomorrow’s built environment professionals.

26 research projects were completed in 2013/14 delivering a range of valuable outputs including

  • revised codes for certifying improved concrete products and processes for use on major building and infrastructure projects
  • new techniques for assessing the impact of new building materials and products on air quality and overheating
  • the development of new methods to manage the fire detection and spread risks associated with high rise buildings .

36 new printed and digital publications and online outputs were accessed by 150,000 people working in the sector. Most popular tiles included:

  • The cost of poor housing in London
  • Delivering sustainable buildings: savings and payback
  • Wind loads on PV and solar thermal roof mounted
  • Environmental impact of biomaterials and biomass

A report on the Trust’s recently-completed three year research programme on Future Cities development was launched by MP Mark Prisk, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Committee on Smart Cities earlier this year.  The research programme leveraged additional funding through the 70 organisations who engaged as partners bringing the total value of the project to £30m +.

The Trust also announced a new three year funding programme to improve the resilience of buildings and infrastructure to the growing threats of flooding, wind damage and overheating associated with climate change.  Work has begun on this programme with ambition to generate significant leveraged funding and form new links with external partners in the coming 2 years.

Further research dissemination activities will shift towards development of new training and skills programmes delivered by the BRE Academy which has trained over 8000 people since its launch in March 2014.

Along with this 22 new projects were commissioned which will look at a range of topics including: guidance on adapting homes for disabled and vulnerable people, training support for those workers delivering post-disaster infrastructure recovery, the refurbishment of heritage buildings and training for the adoption of BIM on international projects.

The Chairman also announced continued funding for education programmes with the Trust’s five university centres of excellence*, which to date have collectively achieved over 175 PhD studentships, 75 staff and a portfolio of more than £60m research completed or underway since their launch in 2006.

For further information contact Linda Mckeown, BRE, email mckeownl@bre.co.uk.

NOTES TO EDITOR

*University Centres of Excellence

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

University of Brasilia – BRE Centre for Integrated and Sustainable Communities