Low Impact Buildings

Low Impact Buildings

The Low Impact Buildings Innovation Platform aims to help the UK construction industry deliver buildings with a much lower environmental impact.

The UK construction market is worth over £100bn per year, and there is growing pressure from customers and regulators for more environmentally friendly buildings, creating new growth opportunities for innovative businesses.

The Technology Strategy Board launched the Low Impact Buildings Innovation Platform in May 2008. We will commit funding for new projects initially until about 2012, with activity on those projects continuing beyond that. We invest jointly with industry and other funders in projects to bring innovative solutions to this growing market, and to overcome barriers to the wider use of existing solutions.

The Innovation Platform budget has been increased from £30m to £47m over the initial three years to address the challenge of both new and existing buildings.

The priorities

The Technology Strategy Board identified the priority areas for the Innovation Platform following a review of published roadmaps, consultations with other organisations, and workshops. We will provide funding to support businesses to innovate in the following six areas:

  • design for future climate change: designing buildings that meet the targets set by CLG, are resilient to climate change, and that users want to live and work in
  • design and decision tools: developing integrated, interoperable systems that enable the holistic design of buildings
  • better materials and components: filling in the gaps in what is commercially available with improved buildability, performance and cost
  • build process: adapting the supply chain and build process to deliver low-impact buildings quickly, economically, at scale, and with low levels of defects
  • management and operation of buildings: ensuring that low-impact buildings perform as they were designed to
  • low-carbon energy sources: integrating them into low-impact buildings and the supply grid.

Three additional overarching principles for selecting areas for investment are:

  • promoting systems integration methods to encourage holistic thinking
  • encouraging industry to account for the interactions between buildings and their users
  • realising designed-for energy savings and improved performance in practice.

Activities overview

From 2008 to 2011 we are running a range of activities to support industry to deliver the challenges of low-impact building. These include:

  • commissioning short studies to fill gaps in information
  • collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects between businesses or between business and academia
  • demonstrator projects to validate innovative solutions
  • design competitions
  • exploring new business models in the sector
  • development contracts
  • sandpits (five-day intensive workshops to create intriguing solutions to intractable problems).

We work closely with other organisations to design these activities to ensure that we encourage people with innovative ideas to apply for funding. Many of our discussions with other organisations are focused on finding the right challenges, clearly communicating the challenges, and devising innovative approaches that will bring out the best ideas.


Click here for information about the current and forthcoming competitions

Modern Built Environment Knowledge Transfer Network

The Modern Built Environment KTN organises networking events to assist the built environment community to form consortia to bid into our competitions.

Low Impact Building Innovation Platform Notifications

To join the mailing list for the Innovation Platform please contact Ian Meikle.


Last updated on Monday 03 September 2012 at 15:35

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