The complexity of the built environment and issues associated with it obviously present a challenge to our ability to rethink and develop appropriate strategies for creating and sustaining safer and livable human settlements. This is particularly important in the context of developing countries, where built environment issues especially in urban areas constitute serious threats to sustainable development. Addressing contemporary built environment issues including resource management in developing countries and globally, requires a creative and dynamic approach to research and teaching. Similarly, adoption of multidisciplinary research approach is considered a viable strategy for tackling current and future challenges in the built environment.

The overall aim of the cluster is to promote research and development in the built environment with a view to achieving a sustainable, safer and livable environment. The BERC comprises mainly of research and academic staff of different specialties in the built environment disciplines of Architecture, Building Technology and Estate Management who are committed to identifying and engaging new ways of creating and maintaining sustainable, safer and livable environments. Our strength draws on the experience of the faculty and staff, as well as on collaboration and linkages with the industry and universities within and outside Nigeria. The cluster comprises of the following four sub-groups:

  • Materials, Construction, Cost and Investments Sub-Group
  • Built Environment Management Sub-Group
  • Building Informatics Sub-Group
  • Education, Practice and Behaviour Sub-Group

To create, build, conserve and maximize built environment solutions and resources for both local and international contexts via the development of innovative and sustainable buildings, building materials and construction practices that draw on local resources and improve the quality of the built environment.

To conduct innovative research and offer professional services that promote life-transforming solutions relevant to the built environment.

The research cluster is currently involved in the following projects:

  • Investigation of Housing Characteristics in Ogun State: Understanding the Relationship Between Housing and Provision of Affordable Housing; and
  • E-Procurement Adoption in the Nigerian Construction Industry.

Projects in this area will explore the relationship between the built environment on one hand and well-being (including health and satisfaction) and productivity on the other hand. The aim is to improve the well-being of people in order to enhance satisfaction and productivity. Both qualitative and quantitative data will be sourced through the use of questionnaires, measurements, interviews and observations. Data will be analysed using appropriate statistical tools and content analysis methods. Personnel needed for the research are available within the cluster. Period for the research is two-and-a-half years. Publications and product development will commence once fieldwork is completed.

Housing Market Survey

This project is aimed at investigating the dynamics of the Nigerian housing market with a view to identifying its characteristics and improving access of actors. It will investigate such characteristics like affordability, accessibility, price, rent, etc. data will be obtained during fieldwork by means of questionnaires, interviews, observations, measurements and photographs. Appropriate methods of data analysis will be employed. This project will be concluded within two-and-a-half years. Staff will be drawn from the cluster.

Environment-Behaviour Studies

Projects in this area will explore the relationship between the built environment on one hand and well-being (including health and satisfaction) and productivity on the other hand. The aim is to improve the well-being of people in order to enhance satisfaction and productivity. Both qualitative and quantitative data will be sourced through the use of questionnaires, measurements, interviews and observations. Data will be analysed using appropriate statistical tools and content analysis methods. Personnel needed for the research are available within the cluster. Period for the research is two-and-a-half years. Publications and product development will commence once fieldwork is completed.

Application of ICT in the Built Environment

This project will investigate the level of application of emerging technologies and concepts like Building Information Management (BIM) and e-procurement strategies in the built environment development. Investigation will consist of both fieldwork and desk study. Data during fieldwork will be sourced through questionnaires, interviews and observations and analysed using appropriate qualitative and quantitative data analysis methods. Personnel needed for the research are available within the cluster. Input of other faculty in the University considered necessary will also be sought. The project should be completed within a two-year period.

Sustainable Human Settlements

The aim of this project is to improve the sustainability, safety and livability of the Nigerian built environment. This will involve energy audits to determine the energy requirements of different building types and formulation of guidelines for sustainable housing development (planning, design, construction materials, techniques and technologies). This will involve extensive survey during which both qualitative and quantitative data will be obtained. Analysis will be be done using appropriate techniques.

Resilient Housing

The need for this project has arisen due to the numerous threats that the built environment is increasingly subjected to. These include environmental threats like flooding and erosion, terrorism and insurgencies which in some cases have resulted in the establishment of Internally Displaced Persons camps. Both qualitative and quantitative data will be collected during field trips and analysed using appropriate methods. Duration for this research project is three years during which publications in journals and conferences will be on-going.

The main projects being handled by the cluster are at the concluding stages. However, the cluster members embarked on some other minor research projects. The main achievement of the cluster is in the area of publications. These include several ISI CPCI conference papers and publications. Another area of achievement is the incorporation of our students into the research cluster, which has provided opportunities for mentoring.
In addition, members of the cluster are exploring possibilities of collaborating with external bodies in order to attract research funding.