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Building Test Centre Saint-Gobain East Leake

Building Test Centre, opens expanded facility after £7million investment

The Building Test Centre, which first opened in 1967 has unveiled its new UKAS-accredited1, state-of-the-art Fire Test Facility within its site at East Leake, Nottinghamshire, The Centre has benefitted from a £7million investment from owners Saint-Gobain to install two brand new furnace and double its fire test capability.

SUPPORTING THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

In a bid to support the UK construction industry’s increase in demand for internal wall and floor product and system fire testing, the new space extends the Building Test Centre’s capacity and capability to test for fire resistance and continue to support the industry for the next 50 years.

The Building Test Centre continues to also offer a wide range of acoustic, structural, and physical testing services for customers across the construction industry with plans for further expansion of capabilities in the future.

Featuring two new cutting-edge furnaces, the 200m2 Fire Test Facility in East Leake, Nottinghamshire, also includes an accessible customer reception, viewing area and new digital services aimed at improving the customer experience.

This investment is a major milestone in further supporting the industry with expertise, and high-quality product and system performance testing capability within the UK.

INTERNAL WALL, FLOOR PRODUCT AND SYSTEM TESTING

The new Fire Test Laboratory can assess fire resistance on internal wall and floor systems and products, in both loaded and unloaded conditions and is continually adding to the schedule of tests that can be conducted.

Adam Richardson, Building Test Centre Manager, commented: “As we develop and deliver customer-centred, multi-faceted solutions for the construction industry, the Building Test Centre will play a crucial role in providing the evidence of performance that is so critically required by our customers and the industry.

“Our customers face a more regulated environment and are seeking guidance to help them navigate increasing demands from the business and market for building performance testing. Investment in new software will greatly improve efficiency and productivity while providing better data and information on the products’ performance giving us greater analytical capability to support customers.

“Our previous fire resistance laboratory at the Building Test Centre was commissioned in 1980 and received accreditation in 1983, which has been maintained ever since. At the time, the most sophisticated furnace in the UK, it has conducted many thousands of full-scale tests providing fire safety confidence for our customers.We are committed to providing our brands and customers right across the industry with the most comprehensive testing service for building products and systems.”

To support Saint-Gobain’s net-zero carbon commitments and its purpose of Making the World a Better Home, the £7million investment includes new capabilities to significantly reduce smoke particles.

Rebecca Sweeney, Scientist, Building Test Centre, commented: “The Building Test Centre is a facility that is critical for assessing the safety of construction components, because of this it is exempt from the usual regulations that determine how many polluting fumes and smoke we are allowed to release. As part of the investment into the site to reduce environmental impacts, a state-of-the-art thermal oxidiser that uses high temperatures to chemically destroy the pollutants that we generate, so our emissions are as clean as possible. This reduces our impact on the local communities near our East Leake site and reduces our contribution of pollutants into the environment.”

To celebrate the expanded facility an open day was held on the 21st November with attendance from across the construction supply chain.