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+ research architecture & urbanism is a collective based in Brussels which mobilizes since 2016 architects and urban planners with diverse fields of expertise and origins committed on reducing our impact on the planet.  

Our priority is to give a second life to existing constructions and minimize the impact of the complete life cycle of new developments. The renovation, re-conversion, reorganization, redevelopment for updating to current needs and, above all, future needs, are the key principles of our work. With a panoramic look to achieve the best results for the people and the environment, we support public authorities and developers in all phases of decision-making in an integral way, from defining an long-term master-planning to the execution of concrete projects an solutions

Our approach is research-oriented. In an exploratory phase, we examine the complexity of the specific context in order to target the principles for the development of the project. Our working methodology starts with the analysis, which we carry out from data, interviews, and various indicators in co-creation with relevant partners and the concerned public. This forms the basis to determine the vision and strategy of the intervention. This analysis is followed by a «research by design» approach to define the best scenarios that meet the desired objective of the project. Through an open and inclusive process, the criteria of the analysis phase are translated into a spatial representation.

Marina Berbel

Ing. architect and urban planner  (ETSAB, UPC), with over 10 years of experience in all phases of the design and construction process on various complex public and private projects realized in Belgium, Spain and Netherlands. Her work includes the design and construction of social housing projects in Spain, international competitions and master plans in the Netherlands (Taichung Opera House, Taiwan), large scale projects in Belgium (Rive Gauche, Charleroi) and various schools and public buildings  in Spain (Conservatori Superior de música del Liceu, Barcelona and restoration of Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona, UNESCO heritage).


Maruxa Touceda

Ing. architect (ETSAB, UPC), PhD in Art de bâtir et urbanisme (ULB), masters in bioclimatic architecture and environment (ETSAM, UPM). Her background combines the experience in architecture offices in Barcelona and Paris with academic and applied research. She provides the team with her experience in developing assessment methodologies to provide guidance for decision-making when related to housing retrofitting, from a life cycle perspective. Her background in diverse fields of expertise provides her with the capacity to address the development of assessment methodologies through a panoramic view; from the dwelling conception and design or bioclimatic strategies in architecture and urbanism, to energy performance and technical requirements for high-performing renovation, eco construction, environmental and socioeconomic life cycle assessment, ...

Some examples of theses methodologies are HARE, developed to compare the environmental and economic impacts of different possible retrofitting interventions (master thesis), SOLCONCER project, where the aim was to assist the selection of sustainable construction solutions for renovation; For her doctoral thesis she explored the possibility to quantify socioeconomic impacts associated to housing retrofitting in addition to the environmental ones, including the alleviation of fuel poverty of households, labor creation, the life cycle costing of a renovation for the client (in terms of investment), for the households (in terms of energy bill reduction), and for the State (in terms of avoided costs, public investment and return in form of taxes). The case studies analyzed included social housing in Brussels.

Depending on the specific needs of each project, + research expands with other members, collaborators and consultants.

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