At a glance
The HIVE is a £1 million ground-breaking building project designed to support research into construction materials and is the first building project being developed at the Building Research Park.
This Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded project (EP/K040391/1 and EP/L005689/1) will allow researchers to study the carbon emissions and the environmental impact of construction materials that will make a real difference to the future of construction both in the UK and worldwide.
The HIVE is made up of test cells that support research in areas such as hygrothermal performance, flood and construction load research.
The term 'hygrothermal' refers to the transmission of heat and moisture through buildings. The HIVE offers the facility to test out façades to prove the construction efficiency of materials under real weather scenarios. Not only can energy efficiencies of materials be tested, but also air tightness and acoustic efficiency can be investigated.
At the HIVE there is the ability to look at the multi-level aspect of façade efficiency with the ability to create different internal scenarios such as internal walls and floors. The double-storey cell also offers a strong roof capable of load testing large panels and floors.
For small panels, Uniformly Distributed Load (UDL) testing can be achieved, testing the impacts of windloading and retainment scenarios.
The HIVE offers a flood tank that can be used to flood test façades and construction materials with water up to a metre in height. This can help to analyse the performance of the construction before, during and after flooding, providing vital information on construction materials in the flood plain.