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Bath Uni develops new innovative materials research centre

The University of Bath is to develop a new materials research park in Swindon

The new research facility, named the ‘HIVE’ will allow researchers and construction companies to explore the development of innovative building materials.

A new £1 million building on the site of the Science Museum at Wroughton Airfield, Swindon, will allow researchers to study low carbon, low impact construction materials.

Mike Lawrence from the University’s BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials said: ‘Laboratory research has identified the potential to use renewable natural materials in construction. Experimentation and study using HIVE is an essential stage in understanding just how these materials will perform in the real world, and how best to use them in novel low impact construction technologies.

‘The HIVE will provide space for this fundamental research to be carried out. Bath researchers will use the facility for their work in this and other areas of innovative construction technology. In addition, it will be available to researchers around the country and overseas to follow their own lines of enquiry, making the HIVE a global centre for research into low impact construction.

‘An added feature of the HIVE is that it will allow the materials and systems developed by researchers to be prototyped and tested in the field by the construction industry, making it a facility which can take blue skies thinking all the way through to mainstream construction in the shortest possible time.’

Construction of the HIVE is set to begin in the autumn.

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