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RAE establishes four centres of excellence in sustainable building design

20 May 2013

The Royal Academy of Engineering is leading the establishment of centres of excellence in sustainable building design at four UK universities.

Image : Shutterstock
Image : Shutterstock

Four universities across the UK, including Heriot-Watt University, Loughborough University, the University of Sheffield and University College London, will form a national network to demonstrate and exchange best practice in teaching and research for the sustainable built environment.

The rationale for improving teaching and research in this area comes from an Academy report published last year, ‘The Case for Centres of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design’.

By enhancing the curriculum for undergraduate engineering students, it will enable them to experience interdisciplinary, collaborative problem solving and help them unlock their potential for innovation.  The centres will also provide continuing professional development to engineers already working in the construction industry.

Educating new and existing engineers about the importance of tackling emissions from the built environment will also be a key aspect of the centres. 

Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Professor Doug King, who is leading the initiative to set up the new centres of excellence, says UK Construction is changing rapidly as the industry assimilates new requirements for sustainability and new working practices.

“The education of construction professionals is also under scrutiny for its relevance to this new paradigm," he says. "The new Centres of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design will develop new research-led teaching for engineers. They will prepare engineering graduates to deliver the sustainable buildings the UK needs at substantially lower cost than is presently achieved. The savings will be measured in billions of pounds to the UK economy and a substantial reduction in commercial risk for developers.”

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