Scheme should help win work for UK companies

BRE has signed a deal with the Brazilian government to set up an innovation park in Brasilia to showcase British expertise and help win work for UK companies in the region.

The latest deal follows one signed in June to build an innovation park in Beijing. BRE chief executive Peter Bonfield said Brazil wanted UK expertise to deliver the 2016 Olympics as well as homes and infrastructure, and was impressed with work on London 2012.

The agreement was signed by Bonfield, the Brazilian ministry of science and technologies, the Brazilian chamber of the construction industry, the federal government of Brasilia and the University of Brasilia, and is supported by UK Trade and Investment.

Bonfield said: “It will showcase British expertise in design, engineering, cost consultancy and products and act as a stepping stone for the UK to export into the Brazilian marketplace.”

A 20,000m2 site is being provided on the Gama campus of the University of Brasilia and Bonfield said he expected a mixture of homes, non-domestic buildings and visitor centres to be erected there. He added these could be built by individual firms and consortiums of companies.

The Chinese deal was signed with developer Vanke at the end of June for a 450,000m2 site in the south-west of Beijing. Vanke will invest £100m in the site and plans to build demonstration homes, start-up facilities for new businesses and an R&D facility.

Bonfield said BRE would not profit from the initiatives but hoped these would help establish BRE standards and tools including BREEAM in China and Brazil. He added that the parks could significantly boost the prospects of UK companies in these countries as there was so much work there.

He said, “I think this will definitely help the rate of export growth and could be very significant. It’s down to the commitment of the companies that will build there.”

The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, which recently completed a low-energy Georgian-style house at the BRE Innovation Park near Watford, said it was eyeing with interest the opportunity to export the design abroad.

“I know about China and …would like to participate in the effort there,” said chief executive Hank Dittmar. “Brazil is also … a place that BRE and the UK ought to be exploring.”

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