Researchers of the Slovak University of Technology test high-rise buildings in Bratislava, such as the Twin City, Panorama or the skyscrapers designed by Zaha Hadid. For their research and cooperation with practice, they utilise the new laboratories established within the Bratislava Science City, University Science Park.
Safe buildings providing pleasant environment without posing risks to our health, that is what the research team of building experts of the Department of Building Construction, STU Faculty of Civil Engineering, deals with.
The STU laboratories allow professionals to examine all aspects of structures, from heating technology for buildings (heat exchange and humidity propagation in buildings) through acoustics, natural lighting, quality of indoor climate and aerodynamics (impact of wind on buildings and structural elements), hydrodynamics (impact of wind-driven rain on buildings and constructions) up to the materials’ lifecycle and energy efficiency of buildings.
"We are dealing with building physics and its application in construction details of buildings. Our task is to ensure a healthy and pleasant indoor environment for people and make them feel comfortable and safe inside the buildings, while minimizing energy requirements in the phases of constructing and using the buildings, all in compliance with the current trends of sustainable architecture. The buildings have to provide thermal and acoustic comfort and good natural lighting for work and orientation inside the building. Building envelope must ensure sufficient air sealing and resistance to rain penetration. Building materials must provide necessary lifecycle, and the building design should prevent the incidence and spread of fire", explains Boris Bielek, Head of the Department of Building Construction of the STU Faculty of Civil Engineering.
The laboratories are used for research and cooperation with practice. The Department staff has been involved in dozens of the domestic and international research projects and projects for practice (e.g. 14 domestic and international research projects and five contracts for work in the year 2015). Currently, they are involved in the Horizon 2020 Project, whose mission is to innovate measurement methods of acoustic aspects of buildings (Advanced physical-acoustic and psycho-acoustic diagnostic methods for innovation in building acoustics), or the Cost Project, investigating new materials and structural elements which could contribute to noise reduction inside buildings (Reducing noise designs for materials and structures, improving sustainability and efficiency through new structural materials and textile designs).
The PhD research investigating the impact of heat saving cladding on acoustics in buildings, effect of wind on typical building structures or pedestrians in the subways and in the streets between buildings, or verification of the most appropriate location of small wind turbines on buildings also currently takes place in the laboratories.
In cooperation with practice they currently test the effect of wind on high-rise buildings in the new quarter of the Bratislava New City Centre in Čulenova St. designed by the architect Zaha Hadid is currently being verified in the wind tunnel. The Department has also contributed to the research projects of the Panorama City, Centrál Bratislava and Eurovea.
In the past academic year, the Slovak University of Technology completed two projects of the University Science Parks: Cambo Trnava and Bratislava Science City with new laboratories equipped with high-tech devices.
"The new laboratories were built primarily within the projects of the University Science Park. It was the major investment into University and substantial improvement of the environment for education and science. Yet, to be successful, the Slovak universities should be classified according to their mission. It is not enough just to provide general academic education, though it is very important for ensuring high educational level of the society. What Slovakia urgently needs are specific types of post-secondary vocational education that employers desperately call for. A small group of research universities deserves special evaluation and funding, in order to attract talented students and stop the outflow of young people abroad. Such research universities should put together research teams of experts from all over the country, who should cooperate with practice primarily in the field of innovation“, says Robert Redhammer, the STU Rector.