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BRE Cardington LTBF


Principal characteristics of the facility and of the support offered to users:
The BRE CARDINGTON Large Building Test Facility (LBTE) is housed inside a massive former airship hangar at Cardington, 70 km north of London. It is by far the largest enclosed experimental facility in the world and its purpose is the study of whole buildings at full-scale. It can address research topics from construction-related process re-engineering through to the full range of performance testing including static, dynamic, fire and explosion loadings. The buildings are being used to increase fundamental understanding, competitiveness and client satisfaction and, in particular, to support the development of all relevant Eurocodes. Currently the LBTF houses a full-scale, eight-storey steel-framed building which, over the past four years, has been subjected to extensive construction process and performance projects at domestic and European level. Within the next twelve months this will be joined by one six-storey timber-framed building and one sevenstorey concrete-framed building. The funding arrangements for these structures are in place. Other multistorey concrete (precast and hybrid forms of construction) buildings are also planned.
The LBTF, complete with its management, intellectual and physical infrastructure, is available on an 'open' basis for study by scientists from academia and industry across the EU. Participation from within Europe has already involved Italy, The Netherlands, France and Northern Ireland. Through the TMR prograrnme the LBTF will be able to provide young European scientists with new and additional access to large-scale testing facilities and to its unique programme of full-scale buildings. The work carried out at the LBTF is reported on extensively at major international conferences but BRE also convene a dedicated series of conferences to the LBTF work. The third Cardington conference is scheduled for March 1998 and will be supported by the TMR 'Euroconferences' Accompanying Measures programme.
Quantity of access being offered and number of users who may benefit: Research teams have been working on the first building for approximately 80% of the building's life and will continue to do so on this and the second and third buildings (timber and concrete respectively). BRE are able to offer 360 experimental days for TMR access spread over 3 years. (Taking a typical figure of 220 working days each year for each of the three installations, this represents over a 3-year period 360/(660x3) = 18% of the total access). Previous experience has shown the typical resources and duration for an LBTF project to total 3 staff full-time for 20 days/project.
Thus we can offer a total of 1080 man-days for (1080/(20x3)) 18 different project teams to access all three experimental buildings (installations). Information is filed on the CORDIS database to attract users.

Funding Scheme

LFC - Access to Research Infrastructures


Bucknalls Lane, Garston
United Kingdom