In addition to teaching and studio spaces, UCL at Here East boasts high-tech facilities, workshops and laboratories, from robots and fabrication equipment to environmental chambers and test rigs.
The facilities created by UCL at Here East provide an opportunity to undertake groundbreaking research in areas including architecture, infrastructure, transport, robotics, healthcare, manufacturing and environmental measurement. They also support the teaching of creative design using film and performance, as well as robotic and networked screen technologies.
Developed with the UCL Robotics Institute, the facilities at Here East include a 2,000 sq m robotics and advanced prototyping space that allows for large-volume robotics for manufacture, inspection and testing at factory scales – as well as advanced IVF and surgical methods at the very small and human scales.
- Imaging, robotic and computer interfaces
A system of robotic and computer interfaces will let humans interact with structures far above and below normal human scales.
From molecules to aircraft scale, these technologies for telemanipulation will find applications in many fields, including healthcare and robotic surgery, synthetic biology, advanced manufacturing and construction.
The UCL Department of Computer Science is using novel imaging, robotic and computer interfaces through which a user can be immersed in microscale environments so as to touch, explore, manipulate and assemble micro/nanostructures.
UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering
High-performance environmental chambers
- Human chamber
Provides precise control of temperature, humidity, ventilation rates and carbon dioxide levels for studies into occupant comfort and cognitive performance.
- Thermal Chamber
Two adjoining, separable rooms with control over temperature, humidity and ventilation rates, with the capacity to simulate driving rain. This allows high-level testing of building materials and components, supporting the work of the UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings.
Light and lighting facilities
- Variable luminance artificial sky
This five-metre dome contains 810 individually adjustable light sources – simulating daylight distribution – and a moving sun simulator. Students can use this tool to explore the daylight performance of new buildings, as well as how to take advantage of daylight in buildings.
- Dark room
This 3m x 8m room that can be used for a wide range of basic optical and vision experiments, in research as well as teaching.
Acoustics and audio facilities
- The Audio Lab
- The audio lab provides the ability to work with immersive audio. It uses an array of speakers to reproduce spatially accurate sonic environments. A VR headset with integrated eye tracking is also available for increased ecological validity. The audio lab supports the work of the Soundscape Indices ERC project, and PhD and MSc student projects at the IEDE Acoustics Group.
Teaching labs and field equipment
- Teaching lab
A space for practical sessions and demonstrations for up to 60 students, the lab includes apparatus to demonstrate components of mechanical ventilation systems, heat transfer and the use of building controls. It also allows for the simultaneous streaming of live energy and environmental performance data to the lab from current research projects.
- Field equipment
Equipment for use off-site includes thermal cameras, blower door kits, smoke guns and an array of sensors and data logging systems to evaluate indoor air quality, thermal comfort, acoustic and lighting performance.
UCL Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering
Structural and 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.
- Fatigue testing rig
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.
- Integrated environmental and mechanical test 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.
UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage labs
These provide staff and students with the opportunity to conduct material analysis and environmental research, enabling the integration of research and community-based activities.
- SEAHA Mobile Heritage Lab
This ‘Lab-on-Wheels’, from the SEAHA partnership (Science and engineering in arts, heritage and archaeology), aims to make Heritage Science as accessible as possible, covering areas such as environmental monitoring, imaging and chemical analysis. It can be reconfigured as required and includes ground-penetrating radar, hyperspectral cameras, a weather station and pollution monitors.
- B-made workshop
The Bartlett School of Architecture’s B-made workshop hosts a range of powerful resources, combined with large, open spaces that can be used for full-scale prototyping and assembling. Faculty members, research staff and students are invited to use these, from concept and design stages through to completion.
Professional support is provided by our team of expert staff through structured inductions, tutorials and open classes. There is also a B-made shop, where students can buy a range of materials without having to leave the site.
This 120-seat multi-functional space consists of a series of steps and terraces providing the main social and event space for UCL at Here East.
- The Bartlett Real Estate Institute
Situated on the first floor, this new space is arranged around a pair of enclosed Harvard-style lecture theatres. Glazed walls in the open-plan breakout spaces provide, on one side, internal views onto the ground-floor auditorium, and on the other, natural light and access to a balcony overlooking the shared Here East yard.