The National Platform defines and prioritises research needs that feed into UK and EU strategic research agendas.

The UK Strategic Research Agenda marks the beginning of a process that aims to significantly increase the level of strategic, collaborative research being undertaken in the built environment sector.

In 2006, the National Platform undertook a poll of members and stakeholders and identified their rankings of broad topic areas from the European Strategic Research Agenda (SRA). This poll identified three key areas as high priority for the UK, namely:

  • reduced resource consumption
  • a client driven, knowledge based construction process
  • ICT and automation.

Subsequent projects in 2011 and 2012 have identified UK Research Priorities Report November 2011 and National Platform Survey Outcomes, September 2012.

Government’s 2025 targets

Since then and a subsequent stakeholder survey, the industry has started to seriously tackle some of these issues. And in June 2013, the government published its Industrial Strategy: government and industry in partnership – Construction 2025, which set out the following targets:

  • 33% reduction in both initial cost of construction and whole life cost of assets
  • 50% reduction in overall time from inception to completion for new build and refurbished assets
  • 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment
  • 50% reduction in the trade gap between total exports and total imports for construction products and materials.

Innovate UK

Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board), the UK’s Innovation Agency focuses its Low Impact Buildings Innovation Platform carries out a variety of programmes and tools designed to accelerate innovation to improve sustainability in the built environment.

Green Construction Board

The Green Construction Board (GCB) was established in October 2011 as a consultative forum for government and the UK design, construction, property and infrastructure industry. It was established to ensure a sustained high-level conversation and to develop and implement a long-term strategic framework for the promotion of innovation and sustainable growth in this sector. In the shorter term, its key priority is to provide improved focus, direction and clarity to the business and growth opportunities which are being created by the shift to a green economy.

Research Councils

The complexity of the built environment offers a wide range of research and innovation challenges and therefore relevant research comes from a wide variety of sources including

The Gateway to Research provides a searchable database of all the UK publicly funded research. Over 200 Research Council funded projects related directly to the challenges of the UK built environment.

Centres for Doctoral Training

Centres for Doctoral Training bring together diverse areas of expertise to train engineers and scientists with the skills and knowledge to tackle future challenges. 25 such centres our relevant to the challenges facing the built environment.

Research Capacity
• The UK has a strong university research base. The Witty Review of 2013 reviews the capacity of this sector to support innovation and research to stimulate economic growth.
• AIRTO is the Association for Independent Research and Technology Organisations represents organisations operating in the UK’s intermediate research and technology sector.