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Building Knowledge: A Look at Stichting Bouwresearch



Stichting Bouwresearch

Stichting Bouwresearch, also known as SBR, played a pivotal role in shaping the Dutch construction industry. Though it no longer exists as a separate entity, its legacy continues to influence building practices today. This article explores the history and contributions of SBR, along with its lasting impact.

Understanding Stichting Bouwresearch

Founded in 1959, Stichting Bouwresearch translates to “Building Research Foundation” in English. Established in the aftermath of World War II, its primary objective was to stimulate and coordinate research in novel construction methods. This focus on innovation addressed the knowledge gap surrounding construction materials and techniques, particularly regarding reinforced and pre-stressed concrete, which were crucial for the large-scale rebuilding efforts.

Key Achievements of SBR

  • Promoting Research and Development (R&D): SBR actively fostered research initiatives in various construction domains. This included areas like building materials, structural engineering, and building regulations.
  • Developing Practical Tools and Resources: SBR wasn’t just about theoretical research. They created practical tools and resources for construction professionals. A prime example is the development of SBR reference details, which provided standardized solutions for common construction challenges.
  • Knowledge Dissemination: Spreading construction knowledge was a core function of SBR. They achieved this through publications, workshops, and conferences, effectively bridging the gap between research and practical application.

The SBR Legacy: Enduring Impact

In 2017, SBR merged with CUR (Centre for Civil Engineering Research and Codes) to form a new organization called SBRCURnet. While SBR is no longer a separate entity, its influence remains evident in several ways:

  • Standardized Practices: Many of the guidelines and recommendations developed by SBR continue to be used in Dutch construction practices today.
  • Knowledge Base: The vast knowledge base accumulated by SBR serves as a valuable resource for professionals and researchers alike.
  • Emphasis on Innovation: The spirit of research and development championed by SBR continues to be a driving force in the Dutch construction industry.

Building a Stronger Future: SBR and Beyond

The story of Stichting Bouwresearch is a testament to the power of knowledge and innovation in shaping a vital industry. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Continuous Improvement: The construction industry thrives on ongoing research and development to adopt new technologies and methods.
  • Knowledge Sharing: Effective dissemination of knowledge is crucial for bridging the gap between theory and practice.
  • Building a Collaborative Future: Collaboration between research institutions, industry professionals, and regulatory bodies is essential for progress.

FAQs about Stichting Bouwresearch

  • When was Stichting Bouwresearch founded?
    • Stichting Bouwresearch was founded in 1959.
  • What was the main objective of SBR?
    • The main objective of SBR was to stimulate and coordinate research in new construction methods.
  • What resources did SBR develop?
    • SBR developed various resources, including SBR reference details, publications, and guidelines.
  • Does SBR still exist today?
    • No, SBR merged with CUR in 2017 to form SBRCURnet.


Stichting Bouwresearch’s legacy extends far beyond its operational lifespan. It established a culture of research and knowledge sharing that continues to benefit the Dutch construction industry today. As the industry evolves, the core principles championed by SBR – innovation, collaboration, and knowledge dissemination – will undoubtedly remain essential for building a stronger and more sustainable future.

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