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Gathering in space

THE RESEARCH and Innovation Committee recently found itself in need of a larger meeting room. But it may have slightly overdone things by choosing the largest building testing facility in Europe for its get together.

The Building Research Establishment in Cardington, Bedfordshire, was an appropriate, if airy, setting for the meeting, which discussed forming closer links between the ICE and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Committee members were welcomed through the 940t doors in plenty of time to explore the 247m-long former home of the R100 airship. The BRE is the UK's largest construction and fire technology research centre. Tests on design, construction, use and demolition of three buildings are currently taking place. They are:

TF2000. A joint project between the Government, BRE and the timber industry to show the benefits of timber frame construction, and to promote its added value as a sustainable form of construction.

European Concrete building project - a partnership between BRE and the Reinforced Concrete Council. Innovative design features include a thin concrete slab designed to minimum limits.

Multi storey steel building - research and testing.

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