His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex will open a new sustainable construction research facility on the 25th September, in his capacity as the Chancellor of the University of Bath.
The £1 million facility, named The HIVE, is designed to support research into construction materials and will provide an environment to help reduce the carbon footprint of buildings. The project is being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
New building materials are developed in laboratories and then must be evaluated in full scale environments; the latter of which has proved troublesome, with finding suitable space and securing planning permissions causing delays and meaning it can take up to 10 years to implement new research findings.
The HIVE hopes to change this with its 8 unique test cells. The cells allow researchers to install and test a range of materials and construction systems and the performance of which is evaluated in real life conditions. As a result, the new technologies can be brought into the construction market more quickly.
The Earl of Wessex’s interest in sustainable and responsible commitment to the environment has been noted before through his duties in the Duke of Edinburgh award which is also designed to encourage personal discovery, self-reliance, commitment, responsibility and service to the community.
Speaking of the project, director Dr Mike Lawrence from the University of Bath’s Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering said:
“The built environment is currently responsible for 50 per cent of all carbon dioxide emission, making it the largest single emitter in UK. The Building Research Park is a pioneering site which will speed up the delivery to market of future energy-efficient construction materials and systems.”
The opening of the facility will take place at the University of Bath’s Building Research Park at The Science Museum Group in Wroughton near Swindon on the 25th September.
More information about the project can be found here: