A new technology laboratory offering testing facilities for the construction industry was opened at Oxford Brookes University on 2 December 2009. Equipped for both structural and building physics testing, the laboratory features modern facilities for testing which complement the existing advanced computer modelling and analysis capabilities available.
Services offered include:
- structural testing of building components and systems
- air-tightness testing of products and assemblies
- thermal testing using specialist measuring devices
- product design and development
- performance assessment
- building regulations compliance including Part L (conservation of fuel and power)
The technology laboratory is well equipped for structures tests and demonstrations in steel, concrete and timber. It includes several large reaction frames, concrete mixing and casting facilities and cladding testing equipment. For example, a recently completed research and consultancy project requiring structural testing, involved developing a prototype prefabricated composite brick/block unit comprised of two brick slips, a concrete block and a specially profiled polyurethane (or polystyrene) core.
The Architectural Engineering Group has expertise in off-site construction and prefabrication, light steel and modular structures, building envelope design and engineering, scaffold and racking analysis. Sustainability is a major area of work led by the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) also based at Oxford Brookes. Research is carried out in close co-operation with industry partners such as Corus, with whom the Technology Research Group hosts the Corus Centre for the Building Envelope. The Group works with organisations of all sizes including many national, international and local companies.