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University of Bath reaches new heights with VSimulators facility

University of Bath has installed a new simulation facility to undertake pioneering research into human responses to the built environment.

VSimulators is a £4.8 million EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) government-funded national research facility, developed between the Universities of Exeter, Bath and Leicester. The first motion platform and environmental control chamber is located at University of Bath, with a complementary facility to be installed at University of Exeter.

A few days after the official launch on 9th October, Installation (magazine) was invited down to University of Bath to have a look at the new facility and hear more about the University’s studies.

The equipment will support collaborative research across a range of disciplines, including engineering, health, medicine, physiology, architecture and psychology, to explore how people respond to the built environment. For example, VSimulators will be used to explore the effects of motion for occupants in a tall building which sways in the wind. This has been found to lead to tiredness, low mood, and difficulty in concentrating, as well as a lack of motivation for the occupant. Such symptoms can impact negatively on well-being and productivity and, therefore, have an impact for building developers, designers, contractors and owners as well as business occupants.

Specialist contractors, working with academic and technical staff at University of Bath, have designed and constructed the VSimulators facility in the Structures Laboratory at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering. This has involved the design and installation of a motion platform by Servotest Testing Systems, a climate chamber designed by Temperature Applied Science and the creation of projected virtual reality environments designed and installed by Antycip. It is anticipated that such research undertaken at the VSimulators facility will impact positively on the design of sustainable buildings with a reduction in wasted energy, alongside positive impacts on productivity and occupant well being.

Read the full article by Installation International

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