Chairman of the BRE Trust James Wates shared a new vision for the charity at its 20th annual AGM with trustees and the BRE board at an event in London reently. The Trust which is the UK’s largest charity dedicated to advancing knowledge and education on the built environment for public benefit, was set up following the Government privatisation of BRE in 1997.
Comprised of a range of construction sector stakeholders from industry, academia and professional bodies, trustees guide the research and educational programme of the charity so that it meets current and future knowledge needs of the built environment.
Research programmes have include Future Cities which explored the complex challenges involved in 21st century urban development and delivered tangible tools, guidance and standards for a range of key stakeholders. Also the current Resilient Built Environment programme looking at issues related to achieving better climate and community resilience.
Chairman Wates shared the ambition of the Trust to achieve a bigger and better positive impact on the built environment in the UK and internationally through partnerships. ‘The BRE Trust is ambitious for the future – we want to increase the positive difference our work makes but we recognise that the BRE companies cannot provide the funding we need to significantly grow our programmes. We want to partner more with industry and capitalise on national and international research and technology organisations.’
Chairman Wates also talked about the continued outstanding research carried out by the five University Centres of Excellence it funds in Bath, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Strathclyde and Brasilia ‘To date 102 PhDs have been funded, over 600 papers and conference proceedings have been published and the portfolio of active and completed research now tops £60 million. One of our key aims is to leverage more funding for this programme.’ He shared how recent new strategic partnerships with Loughborough University, University of Hertfordshire and University College London are pointing the way forward for the Trust.
Wates said that dissemination remained a key issue for the Trust and one that is evolving into more active forms. 85 new publications titles were released in the past year spanning a wide range of research, knowledge and guidance for sustainability, fire and security, energy, health, materials and future cities. Along with these 11 free technical briefing papers were issued, 35 presentations on research outputs were given at 35 events and 6 new training courses were developed. ‘These more active learning forms of dissemination are where our focus will be in the future.’
Wates also announced the appointment of five new trustees:Sam Stacey, Director of Innovation and Business Improvement, Skanska; Dr John Hooper, Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers; Gary Wingrove, Projects and Construction Director, BT Facilities Services Ltd; June Barnes, previously the Chief Executive of The Thames Group and Professor Jose Torero, Head of Civil Engineering at the University Queensland Australia.
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NOTES TO EDITOR
The BRE Trust is the largest UK charity dedicated specifically to research and education in the built environment. Set up in 2002 to advance knowledge, innovation and communication for public benefit, the Trust uses all profits made by the BRE Group to fund new research and education programmes that will help to meet its goal of ‘building a better world together’. www.bretrust.co.uk