Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering


The research consortium brings together a multidisciplinary team of world-class researchers (University of Bath, UK), reputed research and testing organisation (Tecnalia, Spain), large enterprises (Balthazar et Cotté Bâtiment (BCB), France and CH2M HILL, UK) and innovative SMEs (HEMPSEC Ltd, UK and Ekoetxe, Spain).

Name Organisation Contact/email
University of Bath, UK University Mike Lawrence
Tecnalia, Spain Research organisation Roberto G Martinez
Balthazar et Cotté Bâtiment (BCB), France Large enterprise Daniel Daviller
HEMPSEC Ltd, UK SME Ian Pritchett
CH2M HILL, UK Large enterprise Peter Braithwaite
Ekoetxe, Spain SME Igor Madariaga

Partner information

The University of Bath is one of the UK’s leading universities, with 1,500 academic staff and over 13,000 students studying for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Research within the University will be carried out by the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials (BRE CICM). The Centre, formed in 2006 as a joint collaborative partnership between BRE Ltd and our Faculty of Engineering and Design, conducts research, development and consultancy in the fields of innovative and sustainable construction materials.

The centre is based across two departments: Architecture and Civil Engineering (rated top five in the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008) and Mechanical Engineering (60% staff rated as 4* or 3*, RAE 2008), with additional staff from the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Currently, the centre has 15 full-time academic staff, three postdoctoral researchers and 35 postgraduate researchers and has facilities well equipped for materials and structural engineering research. Current research activities include:

  • advanced composites in construction
  • natural fibre composite materials
  • lightweight materials and structures
  • low carbon cements
  • reuse and recycling of building materials.

Fundación Tecnalia Research & Innovation (Tecnalia) is a research organisation resulting from the merging of eight research organisations, one of which is Fundation Cidemco. Tecnalia is the leading private research and technology entity in Spain and the fifth largest in Europe. The organisation employs 1437 people (164 PhDs). Its turnover is €121 million and it filed 53 patents, had 3800 customers and created eight spin-offs in 2009 alone.

The part of Tecnalia’s Unit of Construction, located in Azpeitia and Derio, is specialised in meeting the technological demands of construction and building industries. Its multidisciplinary staff covers designers, architects or chemists to telecommunication, computation and energy engineers. It is accredited by ENAC to carry out tests on:

  • windows
  • acoustics
  • fire resistance and fire reaction
  • thermal transmittance
  • glazing properties
  • curtain walls
  • shading devices.

Tecnalia is also Notified Body Nº 1239 for complying with Directive 89/106/CEE for building products, and one of the EOTA member.

BCB is the centre of expertise for building materials of the Lhoist group. One of the largest producers of lime and dolomitic lime worldwide, Lhoist develops and sells several calco-magnesian and related formulated products to the building and construction industry. These products end up in the manufacturing of various construction materials such as:

  • aerated autoclaved concrete
  • sand-lime blocks, HL concrete
  • concrete
  • renders and plasters
  • mortars.

BCB has two decades of experience on HL concrete (HLC) and was a key player in the development of the technology first in France and then in the UK. BCB developed patented HLC formulations based on a portfolio of commercial binders and shiv.

Hempsec Ltd has been set as the research subsidiary of Greencore Construction Ltd. Greencore is a new company, set up by Ian Pritchett and Martin Pike. Greencore employs some of the best known exponents in the field of Hemp-Lime.

CH2M HILL is a global leader in consulting, design, design-build, operations and programme management; its experts bring the knowledge gained from a wide range of project around the world, rigorous attention to detail and a capability to create innovative solutions and products that are models for the industry. The firm’s solutions keep sustainability always in mind, along with government regulations, environmental concerns, maintenance requirements and public perceptions.

Ekoetxe was established in 2003 in Gernika (Vizcaya, Spain). It is an SME based on engineering and focused on the development and integration of industrialised construction systems by means of modular structures. The company has the skills and knowledge to develop advanced construction systems for residential building with technology that is applied as basis for the sustainable growth of the company products.

The main concern for Ekoetxe is contributing to the energy sustainability and environmental caring by means of integrating energy efficiency and auto-sustainability concepts in the construction of residential buildings.