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.
Topic: 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.
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."
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 Architects, Laing 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 Advertiser, Building4Education, AzoBuild, Edie, Rural News, Green Building Press, Building Products , Construction Index, Phys.org, Swindon Link, Swindon Business, Flic Wiltshire, This is Wiltshire , Alpha Galileo, DPA on the net, and Business Biscuit.
After months of planning the build has now started, funded by the EPSRC grant. Barnwood Construction have setup the site perimeter and are on their way to building the HIVE test facility. Together with a design team of Integral Engineering Design, dm3 architecture, gleeds cost management and gleeds health and safety, the HIVE aims to test construction material in the open elements. The HIVE has been designed to test the energy efficiency of buildings materials, structural capability and flood resistance in order to research the future of construction materials in a realistic open air condition. The build is to be completed by 21st July 2014 when our team of researchers and technicians will move in to set up the experimental facilities ready for researching the future of low carbon low impact construction technologies.
The designs for the HIVE are to be finalized in the next few weeks, Director Dr Mike Lawrence is aiming to make the best of the opportunity to research environmental performance of construction material. Eve Walkden started this month as Project Manager of the HIVE and is overseeing the design team Integral Engineering Design and DM3a. The HIVE will facilitate the hygrothermal performance of construction material as well as incorporating the ability to test construction materials against environmental impacts such as flooding and wind load. The HIVE will be situated at the Science Museum's Storage facility in Wroughton where the open fields lend themselves to Atlantic climate conditions and thus testing the construction performance to outdoor weather extremes.
The Building Research Park gets the go ahead. Dr Mike Lawrence of the University of Bath's Architecture and Civil Engineering Department has been awarded EPSRC funding to construct the HIVE, a unique building dedicated to the testing of construction materials in Atlantic Climate conditions. This facility will add to the facilities of the Building Research Establishment's Centre for Innovative Construction Materials, furthering current and future research projects.
The facility has been granted planning permission from Swindon Borough Council to be built at the Science Museum Group's Storage Facility in Wroughton. This ex-military airfield gives the building research park the best weather conditions that the UK climate can throw at it, allowing for construction material performance reviews in real conditions outside the standard laboratory regulations.
This facility aims to lead the future of construction material and technology through the research of energy efficient and environmental testing. Collaborations with industry, researchers and international centres are being discussed, with future opportunities welcome.