HereEast Lab Facilities

Based at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London, UCL's new 6,000 sqm space at Here East offers cutting-edge facilities including full scale Structural & Environmental Testing.


Structural & Environmental Testing

The new Structures and Environmental lab offers two unique facilities for large-scale testing: fatigue loading and cyclic mechanical-environmental loading of structures and infrastructures elements.

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Integrated Environmental & Mechanical Testing Rig


The integrated environmental mechanical rig offers large-scale testing for masonry wall specimens and other large structural element under monotonic and low-frequency cyclic loading – the only such facility in the UK capable of producing full-scale experiments on various types of masonry material under different loading and environmental conditions.
The 8m-long by 5.4m-tall rig is equipped with hydraulic actuators capable of exerting up to 300kN loading in both vertical and horizontal directions on specimens up to 4m high and 4.5m wide.
The reaction frame is sandwiched between two individual environmental chambers, which allow simultaneous simulations of indoor and outdoor conditions on the two surfaces of the tested specimens, while mechanical loading is also applied.
The chambers are designed to simulate wind-driven rain conditions and flooding, as well as a large range of hygrothermal conditions (i.e. the movement of heat and moisture through buildings).
The rig will be used to determine the effect of climatic loading on the structural integrity of heritage and existing masonry structures and the effects of adaptation intervention such as insulation and waterproofing.
Fatigue Testing Rig

Diagram showing the Fatigue Test Rig in use by UCL at Here East
This self-equilibrating test rig was developed to accommodate and test 3D structures up to 8m x 4m under combined creep and high-cycle fatigue loading. It has already been used to simulate 50 million cycles of lorry fatigue loads travelling along a full-scale bridge test specimen. Future tests will include wind turbine blades under high-cycle fatigue and other structures under simulated low-cycle seismic fatigue loads.
Funding for the rig has been provided by Highways England, the Institution of Civil Engineers and UK industry.

The site at Here East is shared by the following academic groups at UCL:

UCL at Here East is part of the wider Here East project, based near Stratford in the heart of East London. This huge development is home to both big names and start-ups in the fields of tech, media, education and data.