Low Impact Building Competitions

Low Impact Building Competitions

Project portfolio

Our funding and investments on built environment topics since 2008

We have invested >£35m in >400 projects through the Low Impact Buildings Innovation Platform since our launch in May 2008.  In addition the Technology Strategy Board has funded projects on Smart Meters smart homes, Ultra Efficient Lighting, High value manufacturing, Materials for Energy, ICT for construction and Advanced materials on low impact buildings topics. The full portfolio can be viewed here.

Building Performance Evaluation (last tranche closing 18th January 2012)
This £8m competition has supported more than 50 companies in their evaluation of the performance of case study buildings they design, build, own and/or operate. This is helping builders and developers to deliver more efficient, better performing buildings.  The competition was open to new build domestic and non-domestic buildings and to major refurbishments of non-domestic buildings where a core objective was to improve the energy and overall sustainability performance of the building.  The programme’s objective was in encouraging the development of skills and practice in building performance evaluation across the construction and property sectors,  Further information is available on the Building Performance Evaluation discussion forum.

Design for Future Climate: Adapting Buildings
This £5m competition aimed to raise skills and demand for climate change adaptation services through developing climate change adaptation strategies for named UK buildings.  In 2010 we funded strategies for 26 high quality projects with a combined value of £2.7bn. In 2011 we funded 24 more projects with a combined value of 1.5bn.  These projects include schools, offices, mixed use housing developments, healthcare buildings, museum and a supermarket. Through this funding we are supporting adaptation work in 120 companies and 9 local authority clients.  A conference showcasing the learning from these 26 projects was held on 18th May 2011, the presentations are available here.  A second conference is planned to communicate the findings in May 2012. In addition we are working with CIBSE and RIBA on publications to communicate the outputs.  Further information is available on our adaptation page and on our discussion forum for climate change adaptation.

Retrofit for the Future
We are delighted that "Retrofit for the Future" as well as benefitting the organisations that are taking part, has also triggered other retrofit initiatives, both public and private, across the UK.  There are 86 projects covering 119 dwellings funded by the programme.  The construction phase of the dwelling retrofits is now complete as is post completion air-tightness testing and thermal imaging. The projects have now begun 2 years of monitoring.  Understanding and implementing best practice retrofitting is key to meeting the government's CO2 reduction target of 80% by 2050.  With this in mind we are currently developing a dissemination plan so that the learning can be shared across the industry.

Design for Future Climate: opportunities for adaptation in the built environment report by Bill Gething
The report presents the key design challenges for adapting to the future climate, and explores how to interpret the scientific climate data for building design projects. The report addresses issues around thermal comfort, flood risk management and the treatment of water as well as issues of structural and construction design.  We are pleased that it is already having an impact in framing the agenda for climate change adaptation within government and is stimulating discussion on how to adapt buildings within the industry. Individual chapters of the report can be downloaded here and the full report including UK climate projections (50MB) can be downloaded here.

Design and Decision Tools
In early 2010 we provided £4.8m (inc £888k from EPSRC) of funding to 14 projects, click here for the press release detailing the winners.  They are a broad range of solutions that cover the full project lifecycle, consider embodied carbon and support a collaborative design process.  They have the potential to inform and support key decision makings as designers develop lower impact buildings.  The projects vary from 18months to 3 years in length and are well underway.  We are currently considering the best method of disseminating early findings.

AIMC4 is a consortium that includes three housebuilders who account for nearly 20% of the housing market.  The intention of this £3.4m project is to deliver homes that attain Code Level 4, but without the use of renewable technologies i.e. fabric-led solutions.  The target is to be delivered cost effectively, so they can be delivered main stream.  In 2010 the AIMC4 consortium held successful supplier sandpit sessions to attract innovation within the industry and develop the building designs. They are now in the construction phase of several code 4 homes on 3 commercial developments which will then be monitored with occupants in situ.

User centred design
We funded four projects following a sandpit workshop and work started on 1st Sept 2010, see further details here. We matched industry contributions with £1.28m in grant funding, including £300k from EPSRC.  The projects are to develop novel products and services will help reduce energy consumption in offices, schools, hospitals and other non-domestic building across the UK.  They will look at how the demand for energy in non-domestic buildings could be reduced through encouraging changes in people's behaviour and by designing energy-related technology and services that are more user-friendly.  You can read more about the issues and case studies here. The projects are expected to finish by June 2013.

Components and Materials
The 7 projects funded in Dec 2008 through the components and materials competition (we provided £3.7m joint with EPSRC) are beginning to have exciting outcomes. For example Ty Unnos is a new house building system using locally grown timber for structural components, despite it's relatively low strength, through a clever laminating process. You can read our case study on their demonstrator building on the BRE Welsh site at Ebbw Vale. The projects have now finished.

Eracobuild Sustainable Renovation
The purpose of the 2011 call was to generate joint research and innovation activities addressing the challenge of sustainable renovation of the existing built environment and to provide opportunities for researchers, industries and other organisations to take part in multilateral cooperation in this field. There was a single application process through the Eracobuild website www.eracobuild.eu/index.php?id=12. Proposals for this ERA-Net Eracobuild “Sustainable Renovation” call had to include partners from three (3) of the following countries: Austria, Cyprus, Belgium Flanders, Greece, Sweden and United Kingdom. Six projects were funded, four of which have UK partners.

Energy Efficient Whitehall
This SBRI competition is enabling suppliers to demonstrate innovative energy efficient refits of Whitehall buildings.  The remit was to deliver solutions with good energy and carbon savings, with minimal disruption, and with potential for replication across the government estate and private buildings.  Following the initial application selection process, we invited the successful applicants to visit the four Whitehall buildings, and from this received 17 proposed solutions.  14 of these were invited to present their proposals to Technology Strategy Board, our independent assessors, and the building stakeholders.  We are funding nine projects totaling £1.5m, further details here.  Projects completed by March 2011, with monitoring for a year following.


Last updated on Monday 03 September 2012 at 16:06

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