Joint Research and Innovation Centre launched by LSBU and BSRIA

London South Bank University (LSBU) and the Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA) have launched a new joint research and innovation centre. The two organisations say 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 ‘world-renowned’ BSRIA. LSBU is one of the leading UK universities educating and training building services engineers for employment in the construction sector. The University’s graduates account for around 70 per cent of building services engineers employed in the UK construction sector every year. BSRIA, meanwhile, is distinctive for its global reach and expertise in the built environment sector; it works in 93 countries and says that for 65 years it has been ‘at the forefront of the energy efficiency and carbon reduction agenda’.

Professor David Phoenix, Vice-Chancellor of LSBU (pictured left) and Tom Smith, chairman of BSRIA, signed the new collaboration agreement on 23 January. Professor Phoenix said: “LSBU focuses on applied research that impacts business and society. This new partnership will help generate research outputs that will benefit the sector, but will 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. I look forward to seeing the impact that our partnership with BSRIA has in the future.”

Professor George Ofori, Dean of LSBU’s School of Architecture and Built Environment, said: “Around 80 per cent of the UK’s existing real estate accounts for more than 40 per cent of UK carbon emissions. To meet the UK’s future obligation to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent, we must focus on developing research and innovation to help improve the quality of existing buildings, which are often neglected. The challenges associated with retrofitting existing housing estates have been highlighted with the tragic events of Grenfell Tower, but there are also other challenges facing the construction industry, associated with 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 that will deliver safe, affordable and sustainable domestic environments for communities in the UK and globally.”

Tom Smith, chairman of BSRIA, said: “BSRIA is delighted to be linking its expertise and reach to that of LSBU, and sees this collaboration to be part of the drive to not only link knowledge, but to create new opportunities and ideas in the challenge of resolving climate change.”