University of Cambridge approached Dura to design a key new workshop/laboratory area within their Civil Engineering Building. This new state-of-the-art facility replaces an out-dated location in the centre of Cambridge and is tasked with developing advanced technologies to ensure the UK’s infrastructure is ready for future environmental and economic impacts.
The new workshop was built within the Structures Laboratories of the NRFIS, an interdisciplinary centre for engineering and sensor development. The University’s work is at the forefront of innovation, with their advanced new technologies covering a wide range of applications, from single bridges to entire city districts.
It was therefore key that the new space was versatile enough to accommodate the fields of research as they evolved. The new workshop also needed to be robust and of high-quality, as it was to be used as a key location for the Divisional Team to work with multiple external partners.
Dura worked closely with the Department Team and Senior Technical Manager to develop a package of designs that best suited the needs of all parties involved. The individual technicians were consulted throughout the process, making use of their years of experience and identifying their needs and aspirations for the future workspace.
The choice of cabinets was established through a collaborative effort both internally and with Dura. The tool shop was carefully planned to be organised and spacious, while being complementary to the general look and feel of the dark grey cladded building.
Specially designed data-acquisition carts were created to provide safe, dust-free mobile storage for valuable research. These are key items, as they are in constant use by technicians, undergraduate students, PhD and post-doctoral researchers, as well as academics.
Cladding walls were installed to separate the workshop and concrete testing areas from the general laboratory space, thereby increasing health and safety for all.
“The Dura team very much embraced our need for a versatile space, and worked with the divisional team to come up with appropriate solutions”.
Having a robust, versatile and well-ordered workshop is key in a state-of-the-art national research facility. The Dura workshop furniture allowed the NRFIS to achieve just that.
Dura continue to help NRFIS with ideas for their 20 x 10m full scale component testing area, used for analysing a multitude of building products from wall panels to bridge girders. These include the development of bespoke cabinets for hydraulic tap controls and compressed air and electrical provisions throughout the facility.
“Having all our tools organised, in an easily-accessible and useable space, has helped our technical staff and researchers significantly”