Architecture, Culture and Tectonics Research Group


Student woring in the design studio

The ACT research group has a variety of facilities and equipment available for all PhD students and researchers to use. Below are a few of our key areas and items. View all our facilities within the Department of Architecture and Built Environment

Geroge Green Library

George Green Library

George Green Library supports the  Faculty of Engineering and the  Faculty of Science.

The newly extended and refurbished George Green Library houses the main architecture and engineering collections, and offers a range of study facilities including: four language labs, a computer training room and integrative learning room, alongside a choice of individual and group study spaces.



Centre for 3D Design

The department workshop, Centre for 3D Design, is available to all students and researchers and includes a range of analog and digital equipment including:

  • bandsaws
  • laser-cutters and 3D printers
  • a room full of wide-format digital printer-plotters meets most printing demands, and at peak times there are nearby low-cost commercial printing services
ETFE roof solar transmittance pyranometers Nottingham University


Pyranometers are used to measure the solar transmittance of a building component according to a procedure in line or similar to the method stated in ASTM (1986a)

The research group has a set of Kipp & Zonen CMP3 Pyranometers for indoor and outdoor measuring activities. Read more

Planar Biaxial Test Coated Fabric ETFE Foils Paolo Beccarelli

Biaxial Machine for Fabric and Foils 

The testing device is composed by a data logger, able to record several channels simultaneously, and a metal rig 130cmx130cm able to test a cruciform sample 90cmx90cm with a central area of 30cmx30cm and arms 30cm long.

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Demostration Leister TRIAC AT Hot Air Gun


The TRIAC AT is an intelligent hot-air hand tool for welding and shrinking plastics that is suitable for on-site use.

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VR Headset

Virtual and Augmented Reality

The virtual reality headset - VIVE HTC – is utilised by the ACT group, primarily for applications in ‘digital heritage’ and ‘museum studies.’ It is a cross-disciplinary tool, enabling partnerships with Geospatial, Archaeology, Art and Architectural History. The VR headset has supported research on Lincoln Cathedral. 

MPanel The patterning process Cone

Software to design membranes

The software works as a plug-in of AutoCAD and Rhino and allows the rapid form-finding of a tensioned membrane structure given the initial boundary conditions and the required level of pretention.

MPanel includes a tool for the generation of the cutting pattern for the manufacture of the membrane roof. 

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Pfaff 1245 University of Nottingham

Sewing machine PFAFF 1245

The sewing machine PFAFF 1245 is currently used to produce prototypes and mock-ups of membrane structures. The machine is used for PVC coated polyester fabrics but it can be easily adapted to medium-heavy materials such as leather.

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Architecture, Culture and Tectonics

The University of Nottingham
Faculty of Engineering
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 74 86257