Frequently Asked Questions

BRIK Basics

What is BRIK?
The Building Research Information Knowledgebase (BRIK) is an interactive portal offering online access to professionally reviewed research projects and case studies in all facets of the built environment, from predesign, design, and construction through occupancy and reuse.

Who is developing BRIK?
BRIK is a joint venture of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS). It is being developed under the auspices of the AIA/NIBS Building Research Council (BRC), a multidisciplinary group under the auspices of NIBS. Currently, an 18-person BRC steering committee, headed by Chair Ray Pentecost, DrPH, FAIA, FACHA, LEED AP, is guiding the development of BRIK.

How is BRIK different from existing databases?
With a goal of heightening understanding and knowledge-sharing among professions, BRIK offers access to research projects that span the depth and breadth of the people working to create, build, and sustain the built environment. Research offered on the BRIK site is professionally reviewed to assure that the information reaching these busy professionals is quality controlled.

Additionally, BRIK was developed to be user friendly and appealing to its potential visitors. BRIK features:

  • Interactivity. All users with accounts may comment on and rate research projects publicly.
  • Comprehensive search ability. Research projects are searchable by text, title, keyword, taxonomy, and contributor.
  • Events calendar. BRIK keeps you abreast of research-related events concerning the built environment.
  • Connectivity. BRIK features RSS feeds, Twitter links and bookmarking capabilities.

Posting Research

Who can post research on BRIK?
The BRIK portion of the website defines research providers in three distinct groups: Partners, Contributors, and Individuals.

  • Partners are non-profit associations, educational institutions, national labs, and government agencies who vet their own research projects and presentations before entering them onto the BRIK website. Partners sign a Memorandum of Agreement with NIBS and the AIA and agree to post a short description of their process for accepting research on the BRIK site. All research submitted by Partners is identified as such on the site and can be tagged and searched for under the Partner's identity.
  • Contributors are professional firms and for-profit companies whose research will be vetted under a Memorandum of Agreement with NIBS and the AIA. Contributors also sign a Memorandum of Agreement with the two founding institutes. All research submitted by Contributors is identified as such on the site and can be tagged and searched for under the Contributor's identity.
  • Individuals are researchers who would like to submit their own research. It will be professionally reviewed by members of the Building Research Council and approved before posting rights are granted.

How is the research professionally reviewed?
Partners and Contributors professionally review their own research and identify their process on the BRIK site. All individual research will be professionally reviewed by Building Research Council members. Partners and Contributors can additionally request a Building Council review for any individual piece of research. All research reviewed by the BRC will be identified as such on the site.

Why should my group join to contribute research?

  • You will distinguish yourself as a pioneering part of the solution of knowledge-sharing.
  • You can share your group’s Lessons Learned beyond your own profession.
  • You will get your group’s name and logo front and center on the BRIK home page as a Partner or Contributor.

Is there a fee to post research on BRIK?

My group sells access to its most current research papers. Is it okay to contribute last year’s materials?
Absolutely. We want to create a large repository of research, and welcome papers and projects that are timeless or that have historical value.

What should I do if my group wants to explore becoming a Contributor or a Partner?

  1. Determine which pieces of research your group wishes to contribute. (Make sure you have the rights to publish.)
  2. Contact Stephanie Stubbs at NIBS ( or Virginia Ebbert at the AIA ( to obtain a Memorandum of Agreement form.
  3. Return the signed form, together with a short statement your group's process of professional review.
  4. Once your request is vetted, you will be given administrative rights to post your research. (During the initial data collection phase, the AIA and NIBS are offering help in uploading the materials as we continue to develop batch-loading techniques.)

If I have other questions?
Contact any of the following AIA and NIBS staff:

Virginia Ebbert (
Stephanie Stubbs (

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