Institute: Belgian Building Research Institute
Research unit: SCO – Laboratory of Sustainable Development
Researchers: Lisa Wastiels, Laetitia Delem
Project: LC-Build

Belgian Building Research Institute (BBRI)

The Belgian Building Research Institute (BBRI) is a private research institute founded in 1960 by the National Federation of Belgian Building Contractors in application of the so-called “De Groote” decree-law of 1947. This decree-law aimed at promoting applied research in industry branches to improve their competitiveness. The institute has the following missions:

  • To perform scientific and technical research for the benefit of its members (Belgian building contractors);
  • To supply technical information, assistance and consultancy service to its members (> 20.000 advices per year to the Belgian building sector, > 700 trainings and courses for various types of contractors);
  • To contribute to innovation and development in the construction sector, in particular by performing contract research upon request by the industry and the authorities.

Division Sustainable Development and Renovation – Core Competencies SCO

Through its Division Sustainable Development and Renovation, BBRI is heavily involved in sustainable construction and renovation via research projects on European level, national research projects and development projects for regional authorities and companies. Within this Division, the Sustainable Development Laboratory (SCO) specialises in the three pillars of sustainable development: environment, economy and social aspects. Besides a solid experience in Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of building and retrofit projects, the laboratory has a large experience in sustainable assessment of buildings, waste and recycling and accessibility for disabled or elder people.

SCO is expert in the European standardisation committee on CEN TC 350 Sustainability of construction works – Working Groups 1 and 3 on environmental performance and Working Group 4 on economic performance. Recent research projects in relation to (energetic) retrofitting and LCC and LCA include the European Eracobuild project “One Stop Shop – From demonstration projects towards volume market: Innovations for sustainable renovation” and the Federal projects “SuFiQuaD – Sustainability, Financial and Quality evaluation of Dwelling types” and “LEHR – Low Energy Housing Retrofit”.

BBRI has a strong and increasing presence in the Brussels Construction Research sector. Since 2006, BBRI offers, in collaboration with the Construction Confederation Brussels-Capital and supported by InnovIris, the Brussels Institute for Research and Innovation, the Technological Guidance “Sustainable Construction and Sustainable Development in the Brussels Capital Region”. This service helps construction companies in Brussels in different fields, including energy, accessibility, sustainable materials, green roofs and acoustic comfort.

This service also includes a Technology Watch, which aims at helping the construction companies in their innovation process by providing them with innovative ideas, products, materials and processes, disseminated via a website and a newsletter.

The Technological Guidance is part of the “Competence Centre Sustainable Construction” that BBRI is deploying in Brussels. Through this Competence Centre, BBRI will actively contribute to and support Brussels Greenbizz, an incubation centre that is currently being developed and that will support and provide accommodation for start-ups in sectors of sustainable construction, renewable energy and environmentally friendly products and services.

On top, BBRI is the coordinator of a new platform, the “Brussels Sustainable Research Platform”, developed for InnovIris. This platform aims at bringing together the different actors in the research sector, provide more transparency on the different research projects and topics different actors are working on, and stimulating active collaboration.