Our approach

Future proofing our homes and developments


We invest in research and development (R&D) to help us meet changing customer needs, prepare for regulation, improve efficiency and respond to social, demographic, economic and environmental trends. Our R&D Manager coordinates our research efforts and chairs our Functional Interface Group that tests and trials new, innovative and alternative products.

Current research projects include:

Environmental innovation grant

Our Environmental Innovation Grant scheme provides small grants to colleagues for testing new ideas to improve our environmental performance. Grants awarded so far are supporting: trials of hybrid generators; new guidance on using trees in development to enhance design and resident wellbeing; a study of waste produced on a single build plot to identify opportunities for reduction; and a new partnership with a bee keeping organisation at some of our sites.

Post-occupancy research helps us to improve our homes and developments

Recent examples include:

• Research with the Wildlife Trust to understand the relationship between placemaking, green infrastructure, biodiversity and resident satisfaction

• Post occupancy evaluation on homes in our Whitehill & Bordon development looking at the performance gap between the ‘as designed’ and ‘as built’ performance of new buildings including energy and water efficiency of buildings and comfort levels (temperature, humidity, CO2) in occupied areas. This based on the Assured Performance Process developed by The National Energy Foundation

• An evaluation of our Project 2020 prototype builds. This assessed: electricity usage and CO2 levels, and we also conducted some qualitative research on in-use performance. The results have been analysed together with pre-occupancy research covering construction waste, air tightness testing and thermal imaging