The Building Research Park is an open-to-the-elements facility at Wroughton Airfield, that offers the capability of full-scale research into building materials and systems using 16 re-configurable research buildings. It is part of the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials (BRE CICM).
The HIVE aims to answer fundamental questions about the resilience and performance of sustainable materials. It looks at pre-prototype solutions at Technology Readiness Level 2-5, carrying out the fundamental research that will influence industry practice and enable the uptake of innovative products and solutions. The facility is open to researchers across the world and has been designed to be completely flexible.
- A controlled full-scale indoor air quality room where researchers are looking at building panels that absorb and sequester pollutants.
- A double-storey cell that allows investigation of the multi-level aspects of façade efficiency.
- The bladder cell that can be used for testing small panels.
- The flood cell which allows researchers to test the impact of flooding on building materials and systems. With increased flooding across the UK the research taking place at the HIVE can inform some of the major resilience challenges facing the UK construction industry. These include how best to dry out the materials, how much material can be salvaged and crucially how to balance the need to get people back in their homes as quickly as possible without affecting the structural performance of the building.
Projects underway at the HIVE include:
- Investigating photo-catalytic materials to harvest ambient light to generate energy.
- ECOSEE, which aims to enlarge the market for bio-based materials with negative carbon impact.
- The HEMPSEC project for market replication of a pre-fabricated hemp-lime system.
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- Pre-demolition and pre-refurbishment audits.
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