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Core themes for Knowledge & Research

The Institution's Knowledge Management Committee has committed to carrying out research and creating guidance on the seven themes below. These were last reviewed and confirmed in December 2022. 

Please note that this list is deliberately ordered alphabetically, and does not intend to imply the priority of one theme over another.

1. Circular economy
Eliminating waste through resource efficiency, standardisation and modern methods of construction. Designing, maintaining and upgrading systems and buildings with the end of life and re-use in mind from the outset.  
2. Climate adaptation
Enabling buildings to be resilient against the impacts of climate change. Providing design and weather data based on the latest climate science, and considering appropriate design life.
3. Digital engineering
Developing appropriate tools and guidance so that the full benefits of building information management, or BIM, can be realised in practical application. Providing digital tools to enable engineers to be at the forefront of the digital revolution. Support and encouragement of the creation of parametric and artificial intelligence tools to optimise design processes.
4. Health, wellbeing and safety
Exploring how buildings can contribute to the quality of life, health and wellbeing of people while adhering to energy efficiency targets. Investigating in particular how indoor environmental quality can impact on building occupants' health and performance. Providing guidance on how to design and operate buildings with safety at the forefront.
5. Net zero carbon
Providing guidance on how to design net zero carbon buildings, both in construction and in operation. Considering whole life carbon, including the carbon embodied in building services systems. Focusing on performance in use and data transparency.

6. Retrofit and refurbishment
Focusing on improving the energy and environmental performance of existing building stock in order to deliver more efficient, comfortable and healthy buildings. Providing pathways to net-zero carbon.

7. Smart buildings
Providing clear guidance and measures on smart building design and integration. Enabling buildings to respond to and support occupants to promote health, wellbeing and productivity.

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