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    Reports from BRE

    We conduct independent research and publish the results here.

We share our research and reports so that built environment professionals, academics and policymakers can benefit from our work. We often collaborate with government, educational institutions and other research bodies to make sure that our research is rigorous, wide-ranging, and valuable.

Poor housing costs the NHS £1.4bn a year

The BRE report ‘The Cost of Poor Housing in England’ quantifies the cost burden to the NHS that is caused by hazards in poor quality homes in England. Our findings reveal that 2.6 million homes in England, 11% of the country’s housing stock, are categorised as ‘poor quality’.

According to BRE’s analysis, more than half (£857 million) of this annual NHS treatment bill can be attributed to defects in homes which expose residents to excess cold, while the second biggest cost to the NHS comes from hazards which cause people to fall and injure themselves, often on staircases.


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NHS patient in bed with nurse

BRE’s purpose is to contribute to a thriving and sustainable world by developing science-led solutions to built environment challenges. Our expertise is used to tackle some of today’s toughest global challenges, like climate change, and the safety and security of buildings and infrastructure. BRE carries out independent research to create products, standards and qualifications that make sure buildings, homes and communities are safe, efficient and sustainable.

Decarbonising Britain’s heating

Heating our buildings accounts for nearly a quarter (23%) of the UK’s total greenhouse gases and decarbonising heat will be crucial to achieving net zero. BRE’s research finds that, based on currently available technology, heat pumps are the best option to transition households away from fossil fuels to clean energy.

Heat pumps can be most affordably installed and operated in well-insulated buildings. The reduced heat demand in insulated buildings can be met by the steady, lower temperature heat that heat pumps most efficiently provide.


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Research and reports from BRE

Decarbonising Britain’s heating

BRE’s report finds that, based on currently available technology, heat pumps are the best option to transition households away from fossil fuels to clean energy.

Download the full report

The cost of poor housing to the NHS

We have produced three briefing papers on the cost of poor housing to health and the NHS, in 2010, 2015 and 2021.

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The Housing Stock of the UK

Published in February 2020, this paper combines data from national housing surveys to give an overview of the UK’s housing stock.

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Summertime Overheating Joint study

The largest and most comprehensive study to date looking at overheating in English homes in 2021.

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Blockchain Briefing Paper

This 2018 paper leverages two workshops to explore Bitcoin and the blockchain technology that underpins it.

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Sustainable refurbishment Briefing Paper

A 2016 paper on understanding, measuring and reducing the environmental impacts of refurbishment.

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Homes and ageing in England: Briefing Paper

Published in November 2015, this paper provides an overview of the housing conditions of older people.

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Each Home Counts

This 2016 report is an independent review of consumer advice, protection, standards, and enforcement for energy efficiency, and renewable energy.

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