Stichting Bouwresearch, or SBR, was a Dutch research agency organization dedicated to sustainability and innovation in the construction industry. Modern research, standards, and best practices were developed by SBR, an organization founded in 1959, for use in infrastructure and construction projects.

SBR impacted national and international building rules by collaborating with organizations, businesses, and universities. Although SBR terminated operations in 2017, its publications and programs continue to carry on its legacy.

What was Stichting Bouwresearch mission and vision?

The goal of Stichting Bouwresearch was to promote and organize research on innovative building techniques and technology. The goal of SBR was to develop a constructed environment that was more habitable, efficient, and sustainable. SBR sought to address issues including energy efficiency, new materials, indoor climate, urbanization, and environmental effects. And digitalization that is relevant to the building industry.

What were some of SBR’s major research areas and projects?

SBR conducted research spanning various key areas related to sustainable construction, such as:

  • Energy Efficiency: SBR developed technologies and standards to minimize energy use in buildings through insulation, heating, ventilation, lighting, and smart controls. For example, SBR created the National Environmental Database using big data to benchmark building sustainability in the Netherlands.
  • Materials Innovation: SBR created and tested recycled, renewable, non-toxic, and durable construction materials with a low carbon footprint. For example, SBR was involved in the EU-funded Realise project, which developed future blueprints for sustainable living and eco-friendly construction.
  • Indoor Climate: Stichting Bouwresearch investigated how inhabitants’ comfort, productivity, and health are affected by temperature, humidity, ventilation, and lighting in buildings. For example, SBR developed guidelines and tools for measuring and improving indoor air quality.
  • Urbanization: SBR examined solutions for public housing, infrastructure, and urban development to support livable, sustainable cities. For example, SBR designed Living Labs in Amsterdam to test smart building technologies in real-life settings in partnership with MIT.
  • Environmental Impact: By using a circular design, life cycle analysis, and nature-based solutions, SBR evaluated and minimized the ecological footprint of the building. An instance of this may be found in the manual that SBR issued on green facades and roofs, which offer several advantages like thermal insulation, water management, and biodiversity.
  • Digitalization: Stichting Bouwresearch optimized the design and construction processes by utilizing digital techniques such as data analysis and building information modeling (BIM). For instance, SBR created a BIM protocol that outlines the standards, roles, and duties for implementing BIM in projects for the Dutch construction sector.

How did SBR disseminate and apply its research findings?

SBR disseminated its research findings through various channels, such as:

  • Publications: SBR published books, reports, manuals, infographics, and newsletters on various topics related to construction and the built environment. So, some of its well-known publications include the SBR-Referentiedetails, the Infobladen, and the CUR-aanbevelingen.
  • Events: To share its knowledge and experience with the construction industry, SBR planned and took part in several conferences, workshops, seminars, and webinars. To honor and encourage innovation and quality in the industry, SBR has also held contests and awards.
  • Consultancy: Stichting Bouwresearch offered advice and consulting services to a range of clients, including governments, contractors, developers, architects, and engineers. So, they received assistance from SBR with design reviews, risk management, quality control, and feasibility studies.
  • Education: SBR offered education and training programs to professionals and students in the construction industry. SBR provided courses, lectures, e-learning modules, and case studies on various subjects related to construction and the built environment.

What happened to SBR’s activities and why did it stop operating?

Due to a lack of finance, Stichting Bouwresearch ceased to exist as an autonomous organization at the end of 2017. In 2018, SBR’s operations were moved to other knowledge centers, including:


The Dutch foundation CROW creates and shares best practices and expertise in the areas of public space, transportation, traffic, and infrastructure. CROW took over SBR’s activities related to civil engineering and public works.


ISSO is a Dutch institute for building and installation technology. Also, ISSO develops and distributes knowledge and standards for the design, construction, and maintenance of buildings and installations. Moreover, ISSO took over SBR’s activities related to the built environment.


A key player in promoting sustainable building practices in the Netherlands and abroad was the Dutch research institute Stichting Bouwresearch. Standardization, products, and best practices for construction and infrastructure projects were created by SBR through cutting-edge research. So, working with different stakeholders, SBR used a variety of platforms to share its knowledge and experience. Despite its closure in 2017, SBR’s publications and projects continue to carry on its legacy.


1. What does SBR stand for? 

SBR stands for Stichting Bouwresearch, which means Foundation for Construction Research in Dutch.

2. When was SBR founded and when did it cease its operations? 

SBR was founded in 1959 and ceased its operations in 2017.

3. What was SBR’s main focus and goal? 

SBR’s main focus and goal was to stimulate and coordinate research on new construction methods and technologies for a more sustainable, efficient, and livable built environment.

4. What were some of SBR’s major research areas and projects? 

Some of SBR’s major research areas and projects were energy efficiency, materials innovation, indoor climate, urbanization, environmental impact, and digitalization.

5. How did SBR disseminate and apply its research findings? 

SBR disseminated and applied its research findings through publications, events, consultancy, and education.

6. What happened to SBR’s activities after it ceased its operations? 

SBR’s activities were transferred to other knowledge institutes, such as CROW and ISSO.

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