Built Environment Research impact

Look at the impact our research has had on society, addressing major challenges.


Our research has been set in the context of major challenges concerning energy efficiency, the depletion of resources, sustainability, safety, the more frequent occurrence of extreme events, and uncertainties arising from the financial crisis and market downturns. In responding to these, we have focused on issues relevant to these drivers and sought solutions that reflect the highly varied and multi-faceted research portfolio.

Our research culture is applied in character, commercially/industrially relevant and aligned to the sector. Staff have utilised an extensive array of inter-linking strategies designed to develop relationships with key users to optimise the impact of our research.

Our research has informed policy on modern and fairer domestic property tax system both locally and internationally. We have enhanced and shaped housing policy in Northern Ireland and provided a guideline for strategic growth, societal development, and economic regeneration.

We have contributed to a change in the lifestyle and health in rural communities in sub-Saharan through the deployment of innovative solar technologies. We have influenced Safety Regulations, Codes and Standards on Hydrogen Fuel Cell-based technologies by providing the technical requirements through industry-relevant guidance. We are informing current policy and fire safety guidelines on resilient infrastructure.

The five research impact case studies submitted in the REF2014 were 100% rated as outstanding and very significant. These case studies span activities as diverse as the application of solar energy in the agri-food sector, fire-safe materials and structures, the safe use of hydrogen as an alternative energy source and the financing of regeneration and infrastructure.  Our five case studies were:

  • Advancing Safety of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies
  • Applying solar energy research to the winemaking industry
  • Designing Novel Fire Safe Materials
  • Innovative Safe Structures in Buildings
  • Financing and Delivering Regeneration Investment