SAN ANTONIO – The University of Texas at San Antonio is celebrating the grand opening of its newest facility, that’s said to be one of the most unusual research buildings in the world.

  • 50-foot tall lab opened to civil engineers
  • Will test real-size structural systems
  • $10 million lab

On Thursday, the College of Engineering hosted the debut of their Large-Scale Testing Laboratory on the university’s Main Campus. The 50-foot tall lab will allow civil engineers to build and test the structural integrity of systems, such as a concrete building, highways and bridges, in a realistic setting.




The $10 million lab will facilitate the testing of components and systems at nearly a 100 percent scale, allowing for a wide variety of geotechnical and structural engineering projects to be conducted.

A highlight is the reaction floor installed inside the 15,000-square-foot facility.The 40x80-foot floor will allow researchers to test real-size structural systems and components. The reaction floor rangers from three to five feet thick and provides capability to apply to test loads up to 4 million pounds of force.

Department staff say it makes it one of the highest reaction floor capacities in the country.

Underneath the reaction floor is a basement structure for researchers to secure test specimens and monitor experiments.