Scotland's construction industry to be transformed by new innovation centre

Scotland's construction industry to be transformed by new innovation centre

Engineering and materials scientists from the University of Aberdeen have joined forces with other universities and industry in a bid to transform Scotland's construction industry.

The £7.5 million Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) aims to assist industry develop more sustainable, durable buildings and infrastructure that consume less energy and emit less carbon by enabling access to the world-class academic expertise and facilities of Scotland’s Universities.

It is hoped the new initiative will enable Scotland’s construction industry to drive innovation in the sector to address today’s real world construction problems and the big challenges that lie ahead.

University of Aberdeen Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Ian Diamond said: “We are truly excited about the establishment of this new innovation centre, which we envisage becoming a catalyst for new technologies, and new ideas within the industry and academia. It is our aim that the project helps to kick-start a culture of collaboration between universities and the construction industry.”

The University of Aberdeen’s newly established Centre for Innovative Building Materials and Technologies (CIBMT) brings together experts in a broad range of disciplines to research and develop solutions, new technologies and products for sustainable construction, including homes, buildings and urban infrastructure development.

CIBMT Director and the University of Aberdeen’s lead researcher in CSIC, Dr Mohammed Imbabi, of the School of Engineering, College of Physical Sciences, says he and his colleagues recognise and celebrate the transformational potential of this important new initiative.

“In Aberdeen we have long recognised the need to reduce conventional energy use and carbon emissions in buildings and across the built environment,” he said. “Our integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to achieving this objective involves addressing a number of issues, from the materials used in their construction or renovation to the effect of the building on its local and global environments, its impact on people’s everyday lives and many other aspects besides.

“The CSIC is a fantastic opportunity to bring together a wide range of expertise and align it with real industry problems to encourage investment in research and development, further improve and enhance the quality of our built environments and, ultimately, to benefit society.

“As well as a broad engineering and science base we offer specialist expertise in advanced materials research, energy efficient buildings and innovative, high performance thermal insulation and ventilation technologies to name but some areas. In the built environment, almost all aspects of engineering, the physical sciences, process management, economics and social sciences come into play and we provide a broad knowledge base at the University, keen to engage with our partners to move things forward.”

Funded by the Scottish Funding Council, the CSIC is supported by Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and 11 Scottish universities: University of Aberdeen; University of Dundee; University of Edinburgh; Edinburgh Napier University; Glasgow Caledonian University; Glasgow School of Art; Heriot Watt University; University of Highlands & Islands; Robert Gordon University; University of Strathclyde; University of West of Scotland.