Decade long climate change experiment site wins a sustainability award

The award-winning BIFoR rings.

The Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) was named winner in the sustainability category at the Insider Property Awards earlier this month.

The judges hailed the environmental research scheme, which is led by the University of Birmingham in woodland in Staffordshire, as a testament to the skills and knowledge of the partners involved and said it is a project which “puts this region on the global map.”

University of Birmingham Estates Project Manager Daniel Holmes said: “We are really proud of BIFoR and the unique challenges it faced the whole team. This is a fitting reward for all the organisations who have been involved in its creation.”

While most construction projects begin by clearing the area to be worked upon to create a blank canvas, the BIFoR project required the exact opposite. Carrying out the construction equivalent of keyhole surgery, Shaylor Group constructed the extensive experiment facilities in the heart of the forest without causing any damage or contamination to the environment in the process. They were supported by Faithful and Gould and Glancy Nicholls Architects.

The Free Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE) facility at BIFoR will assess the impact of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels on whole forest ecosystems. This will be achieved by artificially raising the CO2 level around patches of mature woodland without enclosing or damaging the woodland.

The results will help scientists to predict the effects of the atmospheric changes expected by 2050, and to measure the capacity of the forest to lock away carbon released by fossil fuel burning.

The Insider Property Awards are organised by Insider Media to reward some of the best projects and organisations throughout the West Midlands.

This is the fourth award BIFoR has won to date. Previous awards include the Project of the Year and Infrastructure category of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) West Midlands Awards in 2017, alongside Environmental Award in the Building Safety Group Awards in 2015.

Notes for editors

For further information, please contact Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Manager Sally Xerri-Brooks on +44 (0)121 414 3984.