The BATir group (Building, Architecture and Town Planning) brings together five research teams of the Ecole Polytechnique de Bruxelles, all involved with research questions related to building: AIA (architectural engineering), IUAT (town planning), LGC (civil engineering), LGM (geomechanics), and SMC (computional mechanics). At BATir, the research theme of Construction History is developed through collaborative initiatives between different research teams, LGC and AIA in particular. Researchers at BATir played a central role in the research, publication and exhibition ‘Bruxelles, sur les traces des ingénieurs bâtisseurs ‐ Bruxelles, prouesses d’ingénieurs.’ Based on the research interests of two labs, the BATir team relies on both a longstanding expertise in the history of civil engineering in Belgium (19th and 20th centuries), founded on a research expertise in structural concrete behaviour at LGC, and an expertise in post‐war architecture history at AIA, through which discipline‐bound references and networks are combined. The research focusses on the history of construction and building materials (pre‐stressed concrete, asbestos cement…) and its actors, with a special focus on Belgium.
The CReA‐Patrimoine is a leading research centre of ULB, promoting national and international programs on archaeology and cultural heritage. The centre brings together specialists in archaeology and in pre‐industrial history. It constitutes the privileged partner between the university and the public authorities in charge of cultural heritage. It thereby offers its services and expertise throughout the country and abroad by public procurement and scientific collaborations within the fields of history and archaeology. The CReA‐Patrimoine is also responsible for practical training and field schools for undergraduate and graduate students in archaeology.
Research team HOST (Historical Research into Urban Transformation Processes) in the department of History focusses on the history of early modern and early industrial cities in the Southern Netherlands, framed in an internationally comparative perspective. It investigates the interaction between the dynamics of social change and the observed resilience of the urban fabric in a long‐term perspective (14th‐19th centuries). To answer its main research questions, HOST developed six work packages: guilds, social mobility, social policy, elite formation, neighbourhoods and migration. Cross‐linkages with the focus of this research alliance can be found mainly in the work package “guilds”, which investigates (amongst other themes) entrepreneurial strategies of building contractors within a corporative framework in early modern Brussels and Antwerp.
The Research Unit Modern and Contemporary Worlds is a research centre dedicated to the history of modern and contemporary societies from the "Long 19th Century" onwards. It brings together researchers in History and History of Art willing to engage their investigation in a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. The spatial focus of the Research Unit goes well beyond the realms of Europe and aims at touching ground with colonial and postcolonial societies.
Research at the centre sociAMM aims to provide a better understanding of European and Mediterranean societies in the period spanning from Antiquity to the 19th century. Resolutely comparative and transdisciplinary in its approach, the Centre is founded on the collaboration between historians, art historians, and literary historians.
The ReUse team of the æ‐lab studies 19th and 20th century architectural heritage and industrial patrimony. The research activities include both fundamental research and applied research: the fundamental research in construction history gathers theoretical and practical knowledge on our architectural heritage and the building culture, while the applied research explores strategies for a qualitative renovation or restoration of the heritage. One of the main objectives is to reconcile the authenticity of the architectural heritage with the modern standards regarding comfort and safety. The research focusses on Brussels and Belgium but is always embedded in an international context and research perspective. The research topics include building actors (architects, contractors, engineers, etc.), building typologies, building materials and construction techniques.