Cleaner construction supported through international research development

The findings from international engineering missions to develop collaborative partnerships and gather expertise in low impact construction from communities around the world were discussed at a conference in Bath last week.

The missions and conference were run through LimesNet - the Low Impact Materials and innovative Engineering Solutions research Network - an international collaboration aimed at developing innovative low impact construction materials and technologies.

LimesNet is based in the BRE Centre for Innovation Construction Materials in the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering at the University of Bath.

From left, Michael Dickson (BuroHappold Trust), Professor Pete Walker, Professor Jane Millar, Professor Tim Ibell and Craig White (White Design).

From left, Michael Dickson (BuroHappold Trust), Professor Pete Walker, Professor Jane Millar, Professor Tim Ibell and Craig White (White Design).

Since November 2011, the network has awarded members with grants totalling £125k, funding international missions to support knowledge gathering from international centres of research excellence. The missions have also allowed the network to build sustainable research partnerships while identifying new challenges for construction materials research.

The conference brought together over 120 network members from both academia and industry for presentations by the mission teams and other leaders in the field of ground and structural engineering research and practice.

The event facilitated the dissemination of mission findings, stimulated discussion on the future research agenda in the field, and workshop sessions aimed at the development of research proposals.

Professor Pete Walker from the University’s Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering leads LimesNet. He said: “The UK construction industry is responsible for around ten per cent of all UK greenhouse gas emissions, whilst the total carbon contribution from existing and new buildings is around 50 per cent of the UK's total footprint.

“It is therefore clear that the industry needs develop cleaner technologies and materials, and LimesNet seeks to respond to this need.

“14 missions have been funded through the network, to 13 different countries. During the conference, the findings of these missions were discussed and developed into research proposals which will lead to projects aimed at developing the next generation of construction materials and technologies.”

LimesNet is supported by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and comprises membership from over 30 leading UK universities and from across the construction sector.

For more information about any of the missions or about LimesNet, please visit the LimesNet website.

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