At the heart of Changing Streams is the aim to help companies in the built environment to design & build in planet-friendly ways which use less plastic and carbon, becoming more sustainably resilient. 

A key part of our service offering provides ground-breaking research that enables businesses and individuals working within construction to reduce plastic waste and pollution’s harmful impacts and align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Sustainability is now a predominant feature and has become critical to how we design, construct and renovate our buildings. Every business in the construction supply chain seeks to prove its sustainable credibility.  

How can research help?

Changing Streams research programs will provide us with the following:

  • A better understanding of where plastic has an essential role in the built-environment and where sustainable alternatives offer a better choice. 
  • The research and development of innovative new sustainable building materials with no or reduced plastic content.
  • The link between plastic and the net zero carbon programme. Studying the carbon impact in connection with plastic or sustainable materials substitutes.
  • Is a circular design economy the best route for reducing plastic waste and plastic pollution in construction?
  • Identifying ways to reduce plastic waste on construction sites and the supply chain.
  • Research to understand where better alternatives exist for packaging building materials and identify ways of reducing plastic where these benefits can be demonstrated.
  • What are the fire (and therefore insurance) risks of using plastics in construction?
  • How do we identify and source “healthy building materials,” and what does this mean for plastic?
  • Understanding the behavioural barriers to change. How could we change mindsets, and habits and help people make better choices in building design and material selection?
  • Are there benefits associated with reducing plastic in construction? e.g., carbon reduction, improved sustainability, reduced costs (these might include environmental – operational – health)

Our research expertise

The Changing Streams Research Centre has been established in partnership with the University of Liverpool based within the School of Environmental Science.

The research centre provides the bridge with a network of industry stakeholders from the construction industry willing to commit to reducing plastic in the design, development and construction process. Dr Gareth Abrahams, ARB, PhD, a certified architect and Passive House designer, heads up the Changing Streams Research Centre at the university.

Our project researcher Lynda Thompson has 22 years of experience working in the built environment and has worked on research projects for the National Building Specification (NBS), the RIBA, HM Government, and product manufacturers.  She is a Certified Member of the Market Research Society.   

Over to you

All our research projects can be designed to suit the specific needs of your business. Using a collaborative approach, this work could be undertaken individually or as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sector partnership.  Contact us to schedule an initial discovery meeting to discuss your requirements and interest.

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