Resources of the University of Waterloo Fire Research Lab

UWaterloo fire researchers are supported by individual on campus laboratories, as well as the world-class, $5.6-million, infrastructure of The UWaterloo Live Fire Research Facility. The Facility, officially opened in 2003, is situated on the Waterloo Region Emergency Services Training and Research Complex (WRESTRC) – a complex created to meet the research and training needs of the fire and emergency services, fire investigation and fire protection engineering communities.

The UWaterloo Live Fire Research Facility is housed in a 5500 ft2 free span structure that contains:

  • The Fire and Flammability Test Lab (Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering)
  • The Large Fire Test Enclosure (Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering) and
  • The Frank Cowan Fire Fighter Test Lab (Applied Health Sciences)

The Fire and Flammability Test Lab is outfitted with a variety of fire test equipment suitable for a wide range of small-scale and medium-scale fire performance testing of materials. Large structures, up to two storeys high, can be built and tested in the unconditioned Large Fire Test Enclosure under various fire and ambient wind conditions, with and without suppression. A variable speed fan system generates crossflows of up to 13 m/s, facilitating research involving large-scale fire scenarios and reconstructions, as well as other large experiments involving controlled crosswinds, i.e., wind turbine performance and wind-structure interactions. An independent two storey Burn House is also available for full-scale structural fire studies.

All laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art measurement and monitoring instrumentation and diagnostic systems. In addition, computational resources fully support data analysis and complementary fire modeling by researchers at the Facility.

For more information on our facilities and resources please visit: