The Cardington Large Building Test Facility (LBTF) is located inside BRE's Cardington Laboratory at Cardington, Bedford approximately 70km north of London. The Laboratory is a massive former airship hangar providing an overall working height of approximately 50m which combined with two specially designed floors allows construction of, and research on, complete buildings up to ten storeys in a weather protected environment. Currently the LBTF is occupied by three experimental full-size multi-storey structures - an 8-storey steel framed building, a 7-storey in situ concrete framed structure and a 6-storey timber framed building.
Resources available, to support investigations in these structures, include: static loading - via a servo-controlled hydraulic actuator system or up to 1600 1.1kN sandbags, dynamic loading -a range of eccentric mass vibrators, fire loading -portable gas-fired furnaces and burners or real fires using furniture or timber cribs, explosions -TNT in purposely built compartments, instrumentation - thermocouples, strain gauges, Linear Variable Displacement Transducers (LVDTs), inclinometers, accelerometers, data loggers having the capacity to log and monitor 1000 channels simultaneously, and a unique laser displacement measurement system which allows building movements to be easily measured where conventional transducers cannot be placed. Access is provided under BRE supervision and in accordance with strict safety protocols to carry out experimental programmes in any/all of the three buildings. While the amount of access available in the contract period is 225 experimental days, working periods for individual researchers and research groups are likely to be between 10 and 60 experimental days depending on their project's requirement.
Opportunities under the Human Mobility and Access to Research Infrastructures programme to work at Cardington have been published on CORDIS, both in the electronic database of opportunities and in CORDIS focus. Separately, details of these opportunities have been sent to all the designated National Contact Points for the Improving Research Potential and Socio-economic knowledge base under FP5. Additionally, details have been posted on an international database of research opportunities (Community of Science) and individual invitations have been sent out to BRE's many contacts within the countries eligible to benefit under this EC FP5 programme. The LBTF, complete with its management, intellectual and physical infrastructure, is available on an open basis for study by scientists from academia and industry within the EU, and the Associated States. Applicants are required to complete a short application form giving outline details of a project they would like to carry out at the LBTF; forms and background information are available electronically from the project manager. Applications are invited at any time. They will be reviewed by the six-member international Users Selection Panel for: scientific and technical quality, the ability of the applicants to undertake the project, the benefits to the applicant and the community, and the proposed dissemination of the results. The panel aims to meet at approximately six-month intervals to review applications. All successful applicants will be required to contribute a short paper describing their work to BRE's regular Cardington Newsletter. Project Manager: David Moore, Centre for Whole Structure Behaviour, Construction Division, Busknalls LaneGarston, WATRORD WD2 7JR, United Kingdom