UK: BSRIA and London Southbank University have signed a new joint research and innovation centre agreement to develop excellence in building services research and industry collaboration.
The parties say that the BSRIA-LSBU Innovation Centre (BLIC) will support building services in the construction sector by promoting collaborative research between LSBU’s School of Architecture and the Built Environment (BEA) and BSRIA.
LSBU is one of the leading UK universities in educating and training building services engineers, its graduates accounting for around 60% of the building service engineers employed in the UK construction sector every year.
At the signing event, Professor Phoenix, vice-chancellor of LSBU, said: “LSBU focuses on applied research that impacts business and society. This new partnership will help generate research outputs that benefit the sector but also feed into our teaching by providing new case studies and projects. Employment opportunities for LSBU students will also be enhanced through the access to BSRIA members that this partnership affords.”
Professor George Ofori, Dean of LSBU’s School of Architecture and Built Environment, said: “Around 80% of the UK’s existing real estate accounts for more than 40% of UK carbon emissions. In order to meet the UK’s future obligation to reduce carbon emissions by 80% we must first focus on developing research and innovation to help improve the quality of existing buildings, which are often neglected.”
He highlighted a number of challenges facing the construction industry, including fuel poverty, air quality, uptake of technology, performance of existing technology and user experience.
“The new BSRIA research centre will focus on finding innovative solutions to these problems, while providing leadership to deliver safe, affordable and sustainable domestic environments for communities in the UK and globally,” he said.
According to BSRIA chairman Tom Smith, his organisation sees the collaboration “as part of the drive to not only pool the expertise and knowledge of both organisations, but to create new opportunities and ideas for the sector while meeting the challenge of climate change”.
Julia Evans, CEO of BSRIA, said: “These two institutions will bring enormous focus to the current key challenges facing the built environment and will deliver practical and effective outcomes to the major issues we all face.”