Edge Debate 66: Is it a Problem that Practice and Research do not Connect?

Monday, February 9th, 2015 | Debates

Some £40million+ is invested annually in built environment research. Research into the built environment typically is applied research. Its purpose is to have an impact on society - typically by practitioners harnessing this new knowledge. There are many shared values and goals in both the research and practice communities, for example, delivering an improved built environment (healthier, safer, more comfortable and fun) that minimizes carbon emissions. But a significant gap exists between the production of new knowledge from the research community and its application by professionals and others. Much of the research is relevant to practitioners, so can this gap be bridged?

1. How can practitioners maximize the usefulness of this research?
2. Why does our industry make so little use of existing research? How do we reach SMEs?
3. Did we do this better in the past? Are there exemplars elsewhere?
4. What has been the impact of the privatization of BRE had and why have the KTN’s not replaced this role? What role can professional institutes play?
5. Do the language, governance and funding structure (e.g. the Research Excellence Framework) of academia contribute to the problem?
6. Do construction professionals have the skills to understand and interpret research? Do professional courses provide us with ‘research literacy’?
7. What specifically can we do to change the current situation?

• Stephen Hodder, President RIBA

• Tadj Oreszczyn - Director, The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources, UCL
• Paddy Conaghan - Hoare Lea
• Richard Lorch, Editor - Building Research and Information
• Bill Gething - Sustainability + Architecture
• Richard Miller - TSB/Innovate UK

Venue: UCL Energy Institute, Central House, 14 Upper Woburn Place, London WC1H 0NN


Edge Debate 66: Invitation sheet
Tadj Oreszczyn’s presentation
Bill Gething’s presentation
Paddy Conaghan’s presentation

Panning for Gold, Paddy Conaghan, CIBSE Journal, February 2105

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