Building Research Park

For information and research conducted at the facility and its impact on the future of construction

Topic: Civil Engineering

Environmental Chamber Arrives Onsite


📥  Building research, Civil Engineering, composite material, construction, Research, technology

Environmental Chamber

Environmental Chamber

The Building Research Park welcomes the addition of a 4x8m Environmental Chamber funded by the EPSRC. This giant chamber can mimic the environment through controlled simulations and allow evaluation of large scale construction material under weather conditions. By introducing a panel, the chamber creates a sandwich which simulates the indoor condition on one side of the construction material and external conditions on the other side. Weather conditions such as extreme temperature, humidity, wind and rain can be simulated making the research at the park even more relevant. Not only can we see what happens in the real environment, but we can look at how predicted environmental pressures affect the world of construction material.




HIVE in the Structural Engineer

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📥  architecture, Civil Engineering, construction, HIVE, structural engineering

The Hive

Want to know more about the construction of the HIIVE facility? The Structural Engineer released this month shows the trials and tribulations of constructing this unique facility in the midst of an ex World War 2 military site. The exposure of the site to weather conditions may put the research materials through its paces, but the ultimate design of the facility needed some careful consideration to such a weather variant site.


Mach is Back

📥  Acoustics, air quality, architecture, Building research, Civil Engineering, technology

Mach Acoustics Sound Testing

Mach Acoustics Sound Testing

Mach Acoustics is back to develop their acoustic models of naturally ventilated yet quieter buildings. Following extensive design, Mach Acoustics are looking to prove the theory in practical field testing. Watch this space, the buildings of tomorrow really could be sat next to a noisy road without occupant discomfort.


HIVE in the running for LABC Award

📥  Building research, Civil Engineering, construction, HIVE

The HIVE has been shortlisted for the West of England LABC Awards “Best Small Commercial Building”. As we strive forward to enable the best of construction material and technologies of the future, it is great to know that our own small research building can be recognised for the collaborative efforts that our Design and Build team in such a unique project. The team are looking forward to the award ceremony in Bristol and hope that the HIVE’s unique purpose is recognised and appreciated for its efforts in bringing future construction technologies and knowledge to the market. #labcawards

The Hive


BRP plays host to local associations


📥  Civil Engineering, HIVE, Research

Institution of Civil Engineers South West

Institution of Civil Engineers South West

The HIVE played host to 2 associations today. The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the Institution of Civil Engineers South West. A keen interest in the future technologies of construction were appreciated by all. But when will we see these great leaps of construction research technologies make it to the main stream? Well, as always, the answer is if you use it. There is always a choice to be made but are we making the right choice because of the cost now, or the cost in the future… If we can prove that you’ll save money in the long term would the public or private sector pay more? Who makes that ultimate decision? Do we really understand how the choices are being offered on large scale construction?


Flood Resilence

📥  Civil Engineering, construction, HIVE, structural engineering

A recent BBC documentary shows that the work done at the University of Bath and specifically the Building Research Park are really starting to analyse the challenges of the future construction. With more and more demand on the space for housing and development the more we encroach upon the 'unusable' landscape. As much as many of us would like to prevent the need to build in flood plains, at the end of the day as a growing nation we all have to work and live somewhere. The question is do we know what to do if flooding occurs and what kind of infrastructure resilience do we expect? Looking at the existing timber housing stock is one way to understand what to do in the event that a flooding disaster occurs.

Testing timber construction under flood

Testing timber construction under flood


Find Out More Visits

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📥  Building research, Civil Engineering, construction, HIVE, Low carbon, low impact, technology

Presentation and Tour to Constructing Excellence

Presentation and Tour to Constructing Excellence

The Building Research Park has welcomed tour and visits from Construction Associations since the opening including Constructing Excellence and the Zero Carbon Hub. The increasing awareness of the facility is providing real interest to a Construction industry striving to find ways to create low impact and sustainable infrastructure. These events are not only helping to promote the awareness of the Building Research Park but starting to bring questions from industry experts that need answers if the carbon targets are to be met. "What do we do with existing housing stock?" "How can we build more efficiently?" "Why does the product I specify not perform the way it should?"

The Building Research Park is offering the platform to allow construction researchers and specialists a solution to their research needs that will help answer these questions. Welcoming the research potential and enquiries that the facility is being brought, it is becoming clear that the need to find the real life realities and solutions to construction materials and technologies needs this flexible platform to get the answers.



Opening of the HIVE

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📥  air quality, architecture, Building research, Civil Engineering, composite material, construction, façades, HIVE, insulation, integrated systems, Low carbon, low impact, Research, structural engineering, technology

Chancellor Opens the HIVE on 25th September 2014

Chancellor Opens the HIVE on 25th September 2014

The Building Research Park opened its site today for its grand launch event and unveiling of the HIVE. The HIVE was opened by HRH Earl of Wessex KG GVCO, Chancellor of the University of Bath who took a tour of the HIVE during the event to witness the potential research projects hoping to do real time research of construction exposed to the open environment. The Vice Chancellor, Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, accompanied the Chancellor showing the support of the University towards low carbon research.

Speaking at the event, BRE Group Chief Executive Prof Peter Bonfield said: “I have no doubt that the HIVE will become a national asset, an exemplar of world class Britain: forward looking and leading the charge for better, more sustainable and resilient construction in the UK and worldwide.”

Also speaking at the event, EPSRC Director Dr Lesley Thompson said: "the facility will give the construction sector the opportunity to look at the impact of building materials both on flooding but also looking at how we can develop more sustainable materials."

ECO-SEE Project Stand

ECO-SEE Project Stand

Researchers exhibiting at the event included ECO-SEE, HEMPSEC, WEIR, Flood Resilience of timber buildings and Mach Acoustics (acoustics in facades and buildings). The University especially the  Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering turned out to show their support of the project and promote the work and research potential available.

Director of Building Research Park Dr Mike Lawrence explained that "the research possibilities in construction were limited only by the imagination."

Visitors to construction research facility during the event included Lord Faulkner of Worcester (Deputy Speaker of House of Lords), Sarah Troughton (Lord Lieutenant), Peter Addington (High Sherrif of Wiltshire), Teresa Page (Mayor of Swindon), Rt Hon Robert Buckland MP (South Swindon MP)Building Research Establishment, ESPRC, Ecostrata Ltd, Lister Beare, Mott MacDonald, SWLEP, L'Ecole D'Ingenierie et Travaux de la Construction, Cornwall Sustainable Building Trust, Greencore Construction Ltd, Barnwood Construction, Structural Timber Association, Leading Energy,Internorm Windows, HR Wallingford, Europa Facade Consultants, Skanska UK, Construction Industry Training Board, Portsmouth University, University of West England, Parkside Group, University of Plymouth, Innovate UK, Ramboll, Birmingham City University, Building Analysis and Testing Ltd, Rennes University, Hemcrete Projects Ltd, Integral Engineering Design, Mann Williams, Science Museum Group, DM3a, Oculus Consultancy, BLDA ArchitectsLaing O'Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Foster and Partners, Intelisen, BDP, Steico, Quest Solutions, Saint-Cobain, Wintech Testing, Buro Happold, Actis Insulation Ltd, Institution of Civil Engineers and English Heritage

Coverage of the event can be seen BBC South today, BBC Bristol, Heart FM, Jack FM Swindon, The Guardian, The Times Higher Education, Engineering for Growth, BRE Group E&T Magazine, Royal Blogs, Royal Central, CITB, Bath Business News, Swindon AdvertiserBuilding4Education, AzoBuild, Edie, Rural News, Green Building Press, Building Products , Construction Index,, Swindon Link, Swindon Business, Flic Wiltshire, This is Wiltshire , Alpha Galileo, DPA on the net, and Business Biscuit.


Topping out (Day 133)

📥  Building research, Civil Engineering, construction, HIVE, Uncategorized

HIVE investigators and Barnwood construction top out

HIVE Investigators and Barnwood Construction Top Out

The HIVE celebrates a momentus occasion as the building nears completion. This long awaited project coming to fruition promotes the ability for future research into construction materials and technologies. The facility, once complete in a few weeks time, will reduce the lead time for protyping materials to get them to market. The facility also offers the opportunity to investigate theories of structural and material performance of novel products, providing more reliable modeling for future design and build projects.  Mike Lawrence, Principal Investigator of the HIVE project, celebrates with a toast to the future of construction research.

The topping out ceremony was attended by representatives from the University of Bath, Barnwood Construction Ltd and Science Museum Group, Swindon.  Media representatives from the Swindon Advertiser and Swindon Link were also shown the facility prior to the official opening in September. Swindon Business News and Building4Change also promoted the event.

The ceremony marks an achievement in the construction project that has been in planning from August 2013. The design team also consisting of Integral Engineering Design and DM3 architect have worked hard over the last few months to understand the complex requirements of this test facility and are now being to see the fruition of their work.