BRE and Loughborough University Creating Dementia Friendly Construction


A home refurbishment project with a twist will soon be open to the public, demonstrating the solutions possible for dementia friendly construction work. The dementia friendly construction zone is being built on The BRE Innovation Park in Watford. The project is expected to be open to the public in October.

A result of the partnership that has been formed between Loughborough University and BRE, the demonstration home will be 100 sq m and will feature a range of adaptations that would cater for a number of the different stages of the debilitating illness.

The intention behind this project is to show the number of innovations that can be used to keep sufferers at home and independent for longer. Dementia is a broad term for a number of brain disorders that can lead to the loss of brain function. One of the more well-known of these disorders in Alzheimer’s. Dementia has a number of progressive symptoms such as impaired memory, learning and reasoning which in time become increasingly severe.

The Alzheimer’s Society has carried out research which shows that there are around 850,000 people in the UK suffering with dementia. It is thought, especially as the population gets older on average, that this number will increase. Predictions show that the figure will increase to more than one million by 2025 and two million by 2051.

The project that is under construction by BRE and Loughborough University is a part of BRE’s hopes and intentions to find solutions that will allow those suffering with dementia to live independently for as long as possible. The adaptation of the demonstration home at the Watford Industrial Park will cover a number of design for dementia principals that were established by Dr Rob McDonald and Bill Halsall at Liverpool John Moores University. The input of carers and nurses have also been combined with BRE’s design expertise in order to create this demonstration house.

It is hoped that the work being put in by BRE and Loughborough will encourage more of the industry to look into the ways construction work can be tailored towards tackling the challenges of this debilitating disease.


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BDC 317 : Jun 2024