Working with the Industries

Business Gateway

The Centre for Research in the Built Environment (CRiBE) has a long track record of successful collaborative links with local authorities, government, professions and industry, both in the UK and abroad. Undertaken a wide range of research and consultancy activities over the last 20 years with industrial partners and clients, including:

  • Fords
  • Tata Steel
  • Glaxo Smith Cline
  • WS Atkins
  • Building Research Establishment
  • Tesco
  • Burtons Foods

CRiBE is recognised by Welsh Government as a Knowledge Transfer Centre (KTC). In a recent European funded project, administered under Welsh Government's Academia for Business (A4B) programme, CRiBE secured funding to disseminated its research based knowledge and skills to the Welsh construction industry. This project entitled 'Delivering Low Carbon Buildings Cymru, from policy to practice', utilised a variety of knowledge transfer methods. These included outreach events, strategic consultations, presenting case studies and detailed best practice examples.

During this three year project CRiBE hosted over 20 events assisting 49 small to medium enterprises and built environment organisations. www.lowcarboncymru.org

The Carmarthenshire Homes Standard (CHS) Health Impact Study

The Welsh School of Architecture is conducting a project for Carmarthenshire County Council (CCC) on the health benefits of a major investment programme to bring CCCs housing stock up to the Carmarthenshire Homes Standard (CHS) by 2015. The health impact study compares the health of tenants living in homes at three different stages of the CHS improvement work: Unimproved homes where CHS works have not started; Homes where all CHS works have been completed; and Homes where CHS works are partly complete. The main aim of the study is to identify and measure any health benefits experienced by our tenants following the CHS works, looking specifically at housing quality, thermal comfort, fuel poverty (a high percentage of income spent on fuel bills), physical and mental health.

Health Impact and Economic Value of Meeting Housing Quality Standards

We are also involved in a NIHR-funded study that evaluates the health benefits of the same CHS improvement programme, using the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) system with routinely collected health data. Property regeneration data is linked to residents and their health data using an ethically approved data linkage system. We will then compare health status before & after the housing improvements as well as comparing residents in improved housing with residents in other places. We will focus on whether housing improvement reduces emergency hospital admissions in people over 60 years old for conditions such as heart attacks, asthma attacks, falls and burns. We will examine if there is a decrease in the number of prescriptions made for anxiety and depression, asthma and related conditions. We will compare these to other people living locally who will not have their houses improved.

The Health Impacts of Structural Energy Performance Investments in Wales: An Evaluation of the Arbed Programme

This NIHR-funded he study will review the health benefits of the Arbed programme, set up by the Welsh Government. The Arbed programme aims to improve the energy efficiency of homes in low-income neighbourhoods in Wales, through the use of wall and roof insulation, heating system upgrades, renewable energy technologies (such as solar panels), and energy saving advice. The first phase of the programme which took place in 2010-2011 improved the energy efficiency of around 7,460 houses in Wales. The second phase will take place from 2012-2015 and aims to improve a further 4,800 homes. The project will examine the recorded health status of residents before and after the Arbed housing improvements took place in 2010 and 2011, and compare them with the recorded health status of residents from other low-income areas where no housing improvements took place over the same time periods. The project will further involve a prospective health impact study to evaluate the second phase of the Arbed programme. We monitor mental and cardio-respiratory health, as well as household energy use, temperature, and humidity in houses undergoing energy efficiency improvements. These findings will then be compared with houses that do not receive improvement.

This study aims to measure the immediate and longer term health benefits resulting from a major housing regeneration programme currently underway in which social housing is brought up to a national quality standard. Researchers will liaise with the Carmarthenshire council to collect property regeneration data, including completion dates, and will then use an ethically approved system to anonymously link data on the residences to residents and their health data. We will then compare health status before & after the housing improvements as well as comparing residents in improved housing with residents in other places. The system used ensures that information for individuals is anonymous, names and addresses are removed, but we retain the ability to make links with the same person's health data in several datasets, and housing data, using anonymised linking fields. We will focus on whether housing improvement reduces emergency hospital admissions for conditions such as heart attacks, asthma attacks, falls and burns, in people over 60 years old. We will also look to see if there is a decrease in the number of prescriptions made for anxiety and depression, asthma and related conditions, for people of all ages in the improved houses. We will compare these to similar people locally who have not had their houses improved.

The results we hope to show from these analyses are, for example: impact of the installation of central heating in cold-related pneumonia cases , and the installation of new windows and doors and impact on asthma GP prescriptions of treatments and relievers.


For further information about the Business Gateway - Tel: +44(0)29 2087 6584; Email: gateway@cardiff.ac.uk