The Belgian Road Research Centre (BRRC) is an independent research centre at the service of all companies and individuals active in road construction. Our goal? To strengthen road construction and stimulate sustainable innovation.
BRRC supports road construction
BRRC is a private research institute of public utility. Its mission is to promote and coordinate technological progress in road construction through scientific research, innovation, and knowledge sharing.
4 reasons to rely on BRRC
- Road construction is our specialty. Our team is made up of experts who examine all aspects of road construction every day. Do you need specialist know-how, e.g. in the field of concrete pavement or road inspection? Or on the three standard tender specifications in Belgium? BRRC is your partner of choice.
- BRRC is an independent body that provides impartial advice.
- BRRC has a large multidisciplinary team of experts: engineers, geologists, chemists, planners, laboratory technicians, etc. What is in it for you? You can contact us for all your questions on all aspects of road construction. And we will examine them from different points of view.
- Our services are generally free of charge for accountable, associate and adherent members.
BRRC activities: 4 pillars
- Innovation: through research projects and experiments, we are making our roads more sustainable, smarter and greener.
- Assistance: anyone with questions about road construction can contact our multidisciplinary team of experts.
- Training: under the name Belgian Road Academy, BRRC offers a wide range of training courses. These include both theoretical courses and practical workshops. All aspects of road construction are covered.
- Expertise: over the years, we have acquired extensive knowledge in road construction. We share this knowledge through training, technical and documentary assistance, and publications.
BRRC areas of expertise
BRRC is active in all areas of road construction: materials, techniques, tests, measurements, software. And in all phases of a road construction project: design, implementation, control, management, and maintenance. Our areas of expertise are as follows:
- Geotechnics and (sub)base layers
- Water and roads
- Asphalt roads and other bituminous applications
- Concrete roads and paving
- Road safety
Our starting point? The road network is an essential component in a comprehensive and sustainable transport system. That is why we pay attention to all actors: road contractors, road managers and all types of road users, vehicles and infrastructure, but also to the immediate environment, as well as the socio-economic and social context.
- Accountable members. These are companies (contractors) that are active in the construction, repair or maintenance of roads and related facilities. They pay a legally binding fee of 0.8 % on the total price of road works they have carried out on Belgian soil. Our services, but also our research and development activities, are primarily aimed at them (and often in collaboration with them). What do they receive? Free technical assistance (with a few exceptions). All our publications are automatically sent to them free of charge. And they also benefit from a reduced rate for training courses.
- Assimilated members: BRRC is a private research institute of public utility that works for and with the Belgian road authorities: federal, regional, provincial, and municipal authorities, parastatal and intermunicipal bodies.
- Adherent members. Other players in the road construction industry (engineering and consultancy firms, material manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, the academic world, etc.) can become adherent members for 200 € per year. They can then benefit from certain services.
Questions about BRRC membership? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Origin of BRRC
BRRC was founded in 1952, in the aftermath of World War II. The damage caused by the war was considerable. Not only in terms of people, but also in terms of infrastructure. Cities, towns, bridges, and roads had to be rebuilt.
With this reality in mind, Minister De Groote enacted a law in 1947: the "De Groote" decree-law. Belgian road contractors have thus had the opportunity to create a collective research centre. What for? To promote and coordinate technological progress in their sector.
The road construction sector made use of the law and founded the Belgian Road Research Centre (BRRC) on 5 May 1952. An independent knowledge centre serving all road construction actors and with a special status: a private research institute of public utility, financed by the sector. Every road contractor is legally required to pay a fee.
The BRRC team is made up of about 100 employees with very different profiles. This diversity guarantees a multidisciplinary and integrated approach to research, assistance, and training. Our employees are active throughout the country, spread over three locations. One in each Region: Sterrebeek, Wavre, and Brussels.
Our management bodies (Standing Committee and General Council) include representatives of road contractors from Flanders, Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital Region, a trade union representative, and a representative of the FPS Economy. The three Regional Road Directors take turns at the presidency. The current chairman is Tom Roelants, general administrator of the Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer (AWV).
Six Technical Committees (Safety, Mobility, and Traffic; Concrete Roads and Pavings; Asphalt Roads and Other Bituminous Applications; Road Asset Management; Drainage and Infiltration Techniques; Geomaterials and Base Layers) and the Programme Committee advise on the priorities for BRRC activities. These committees are composed of experts in the relevant fields of expertise, both from within and outside BRRC.
Day-to-day management is carried out by Managing Director Annick De Swaef and a management team of five people: the heads of the three technical-scientific divisions and the Statutory Fee Assessment and Administration and Finance divisions.
National and international cooperation
It is only through knowledge sharing that BRRC can achieve concrete results and help to grow the sector. Therefore, BRRC is committed to national, European, and international cooperation.
In Belgium, for example, we work in cooperation with:
- other collective research institutes in the construction sector
- professional federations
- the Bureau for Standardisation (NBN)
- various certification bodies
BRRC also plays a leading role in the Belgian Road Association (ABR-BWV). It organises, among other things, Belgian road congresses, study days, technical visits, and Belgian participation in the activities of the World Road Association (PIARC).
At a global level, BRRC often plays a leading role and is actively involved in, among others, the following organisations:
- the Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories (FEHRL)
- the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC)
- the European Committee for Standardization (CEN)
- the European Commission (EC)
- the Conference of European Directors of Roads (CEDR)
- the Joint OECD/ITF Transport Research Committee
- the International Transport Research Documentation (ITRD)
- the International Union of Laboratories and Experts in Construction Materials, Systems and Structures (RILEM)
- the World Road Association (PIARC)
In addition, we contribute to the development of documentary research tools, databases, and a quadrilingual thesaurus within the framework of the International Transport Research Documentation (ITRD).
Within the PIARC Committee on Terminology, BRRC largely contributes to the maintenance of an online multilingual terminology database. To understand and make oneself understood during international contacts is indeed essential for professionals in all sectors, especially in the road sector, which owes its very existence to the need for communication.