A new website formed by two buildings organizations aims to be a bank of peer-reviewed research projects and case studies that dive into every phase of the building cycle, from predesign through occupancy and re-use.
"I believe that it has the potential to be transformative in our industry," says A. Ray Pentecost III, chairman of the board of direction for the new site: BRIKbase.org.
BRIK stands for "Building Research Information Knowledgebase" and was formed by the American Institute of Architects and the National Institute of Building Sciences.
By crowd-sourcing its data, BRIK hopes to become the go-to aggregator for research and studies about building.
Any person, organization or corporation can go to the site and submit research or case studies. That research is then vetted and peer-reviewed before becoming public. Then, it becomes accessible online to anyone who wants to learn.
Initially, the research portal is self-populated, drawing on AIA's and NIBS' research from within the institutes' databases.
"The AIA is concentrating on adding health-care environment research, and NIBS is concentrating on papers that have to do with building enclosure," says Bob Payn, director of information technology at NIBS. He says BRIK looks to outside contributors for the majority of the content to come.
"It needs a little time. It's like a snowball, something that can fit in the palm of your hand at first but, when it rolls downhill, gets enormous," says Pentecost. Some early submitters include the Environmental Design Research Association and the Center for Advanced Design Research & Evaluation.
The site says it accepts research from three groups: "Partners" are non-profits such as government agencies and national labs; their content is vetted by BRIK's founding institutions. The other two groups—"contributors" and "individuals"—are populated with submissions from companies and individuals; their content is peer-reviewed by BRIK volunteers.