The design and construction process for any building is chock full of learning experiences that architects can’t share fast enough. The Building Research Information Knowledgebase, or BRIK, launched today by the AIA and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), now allows design professionals to access and contribute their knowledge to a single online resource. Available as a free tool, the website, brikbase.org, contains peer-reviewed research papers and case studies covering buildings from pre-design to post-occupancy and reuse.
Through BRIK, building and real estate professionals will be able to acquire design strategies and performance data, said AIA CEO, Robert Ivy, FAIA, during BRIK’s public launch at the NIBS Building Innovation 2013 conference. The tool will “quantify and make real [the data] beyond the anecdotes,” allowing the entire building community to benefit from the lessons learned with each project, he said.
On a more somber and personal note, Ivy, who formerly worked in New York for many years, added that sharing this information has become even more critical given the immense recovery efforts, due to the extreme weather events, that are overwhelming designers and engineers. Ivy said the resource will also help “prove the value of the work in which design and construction professionals are engaged.” For example, he said, BRIK can serve as a metric to relate the effects of design on human health and productivity.
The website currently offers more than 500 different reports that focus on healthcare facilities, learning environments, and high-performance buildings. AIA and NIBS expect to add more building types in the future, and welcome contributions and suggestions for papers and case studies.
Research can be posted on BRIK by partners, contributors, and individuals. Partners include non-profit, educational, and governmental institutions who vet their own work, while contributors comprise professional firms and for-profit companies that must sign a memorandum of agreement with NIBS and AIA, under which their research will be vetted. The HKS/Center for Advanced Design Research & Evaluation, the Environmental Design Research Association, and the Center for Healthcare Design are the first contributors to sign on with BRIK.
Individuals interested in contributing to BRIK must submit research for review and approval by the BRC before they can post their work. Contributing to and accessing work on BRIK is free.
BRIK is being developed by the AIA/NIBS Building Research Council (BRC), a newly formed, multidisciplinary group that serves under the purview of NIBS. At today’s event, Ivy presented NIBS president Henry Green, Hon. AIA, with a $15,000 check to help support the BRC’s efforts. AIA and NIBS plan to maintain the site through sponsorships, which they will begin seeking in the first quarter of 2013.
The website incorporates search and social media tools and will list events relating to research on the built environment. NIBS IT director Bob Payn said, “BRIK will keep the research available to the public.”