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Since 01.01.2009, following the integration of the Institute for Rehabilitation and Modernization of Buildings (IEMB), the science division of the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR) has been merged to form the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) in the BBR. The science division of the BBR had previously evolved from the former Federal Research Institute for Regional Geography and Regional Planning (BfLR). This was created in 1973 from the Institute for Regional Planning and the Institute for Regional Research. While the geographical approach dominated until into the 1960s, this was largely given up in the 1970s to be replaced by a social-science based regional planning. As a result, regional planning became an important instrument of the social state in its attempts to produce equal standards of living throughout Germany. An attempt that was given a whole new dimension after reunification and which in the context of European integration represents a great challenge.

The Institute for Rehabilitation and Modernization of Buildings (IEMB) evolved from the former East German Building Academy and was founded in 1992 in the legal form of a registered association domiciled in Berlin; it has been an institute at the Technische Universität Berlin since 1995. The IEMB examines the scientific and technical basis of construction in respect of the ecologically and socially acceptable rehabilitation and modernisation of industrially and conventionally erected buildings. It supports the scientific and social development, especially in the countries in Central and Eastern Europe, through information events, presentations, demonstrations, etc. on the maintenance and modernisation, particularly of prefabricated concrete slab buildings, in compliance with energy-saving measures. An important focus of the work of the IEMB is the promotion of cost-effective, quality-conscious, i.e. environmentally appropriate, innovative and affordable housing.