Leading UK built environment charity the BRE Trust, will extend its operations in one of the world’s major emerging markets by opening a new research centre in Brazil within the University of Brasilia in the country’s capital.
This week, BRE’s Chief Executive Dr Peter Bonfield, signed an agreement with University of Brasilia’s Chancellor for the creation of a BRE Centre of Excellence for Integrated and Sustainable Communities at the University, with support from the BRE Trust, BRE’s charitable owner.
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’.
In collaboration with industry and academia, the BRE Trust currently provides research funding to five BRE University Centres of Excellence* at UK universities, who bring rigorous science to solve the challenges facing the built environment.
The BRE University Centre for Integrated and Sustainable Communities at Brasilia University will be the first such centre outside of the UK. The BRE Trust is funding a University Chair held by Professor Raquel Naves Blumenschein, an esteemed architect and advocate of sustainable development who will be the director of the centre.
BRE and the university are already collaborating on a number of projects including the creation of a built environment Innovation Park called PISAC which will be located on the University’s campus. Based on the BRE Innovation Park model in Watford, PISAC will offer British architects, engineers and product manufacturers opportunities to get involved in the development.
* BRE Trust University Centres of Excellence:
University of Bath: Innovative Construction Materials
University of Cardiff (x 2): Sustainable Building Design, Building Systems & Infomatics
University of Strathclyde: Energy Management
University of Edinburgh: Fire Safety Engineering
Background to BREs close relationship with Brazil
The opening of BRE Brazil follows existing BRE partnerships in Brazil, including the signing of an Accord with the Brazilian Minister for Science and Technology in August 2012. This sets out the intent by government and industry to work closely with BRE on a growing programme of research, innovation, sustainability, standards and certification, focussed on the challenges and opportunities in Brazil’s built environment.