Norwegian Research Laboratory for Universal Design

Full Scale Lab

Makes it possible to bring theory into practise. The lab is equipped with building elements for various types of construction. This experimental setup provides a unique possibility to conduct full-scale experiments, both interior and exterior wise. Research for the built environment – through the lens of full-scale making and understanding – does not only guide the design process, but helps researchers think critically about form, structure, volume, function, material and expression as essential aspects of the universal design principles. For example, the lab provides the possibility to test minimum widths and maximum slopes on a wheelchair ramp indoor by simulating various outdoor climates – an arrangement that undoubtedly makes randomized tests more efficient.

Access ramp at the Full Scale Lab

Examples of available equipment in the laboratories:

  • Adequate space to build a two-storey house
  • Modular wall system that enables rapid on-site reconfiguration to test alternative structural layouts
  • 12 ft ramp – varying in slope from 1:8 to 1:20 – with the possibility to simulate different climates by replacing the ramp surface material
  • All kinds of mobility aids, e.g., canes, walkers, manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, scooters, etc.
  • 8.000 m antenna cable in cast floors gives the possibility to measure steadiness while walking
  • State-of-the-art visual equipment, including still digital cameras, digital video and various editing software, to facilitate the documentation process

Examples of some laboratory-developed tests:

  • Facility and site plans, both exterior and interior
  • Orientability
  • Accessibility
  • Floor slip resistance
  • Indoor position systems
  • Lifts, platform lifts and stairlifts
  • Stairs
  • Ramps
  • Corridor systems
  • Entrances
  • Two-storey house
  • Classrooms
  • Large-scale visual information systems with viewing distance up to 50 m
  • Interior design elements
  • Leading lines
  • User-friendliness/design for operation
  • Mobility aids, disability aids, daily living aids, etc.