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A unique Centre for Fire Safety and Acoustics to be established in Krakow

Signers of the letter of intent standing behind a long table. Each of them holds a copy of the agreement.

Photo: AGH UST

A unique Centre for Fire Safety and Acoustics to be established in Krakow

A unique on a European scale Centre for Fire Safety and Acoustics will be established in Krakow. A letter of intent in the matter has been signed on August 25, 2022, and one of its signers is the AGH UST.

The purpose of the project is to establish a research centre for innovative building materials related to fire safety and noise protection, which is to answer the socioeconomic challenges of construction, especially important for the scientific, economic, and innovative policies of the country.

The Centre will provide a comprehensive array of research services for the industry of building materials, including modular construction, within a full acoustic scope and fire safety evaluation. Research carried out at the Centre will encompass the most significant properties related to fire safety in construction, that is, reaction to fire, fire resistance of walls, and the rate of fire spread through external walls and roofs, as well as properties related to acoustics, that is, acoustic insulation and sound absorption.

The map of research institutions will soon expand to include an important centre, anticipated by socioeconomic needs. Today, this letter of intent initiates the creation of a place where, in cooperation with our partners, we will be able to research, investigate, and test solutions that will then be applied in modern construction in the scope related to fire safety or to improve acoustic parameters of newly-erected buildings. We offer our expert support and opulent experience in these fields of research, including sound protection, which can certainly thrive further within the Centre for Fire Safety and Acoustics.  For the AGH UST, today’s symbolic start of constructing the Centre also means the deepening of our collaboration with the Łukasiewicz Institute of Ceramics and Building Materials that has been flourishing for years. We have been jointly investigating and carrying out projects in a number of priority research areas for both institutions. Thanks to this agreement, we will certainly be able to successfully carry out industrial implementations of new fire-safe materials as well as solutions in the field of acoustics’, said Professor Jerzy Lis, AGH UST Rector.

The new Centre will facilitate the implementation of research projects related to sustainable and energy-efficient construction, including modular buildings, which makes up one of the Łukasiewicz Network’s programmes. This is one of the research areas that comprises the research and development projects currently funded by the Network and commissioned by Polish entrepreneurs, which have a high commercialisation potential.

 The construction project began with erecting a hall for material research, including zones for open fire research and fire testing in closed chambers, as well as an installation for the purification of combustion products resulting from the tests carried out in the research hall. The existing infrastructure for acoustic insulation research will be upgraded and a new stand for sound absorption tests will be built.

The project will directly translate into improved recognition of the importance of research and development work in Poland and Europe in relation to fire and acoustic research, which will influence the increase in innovative industrial implementations, competitiveness, and cooperation at the industry–science interface. Plans have been made to make the Centre a place of educational collaboration and one where academic staff could carry out research and develop innovative solutions on an international scale for the construction industry. The Centre will also be a hub for the exchange of experiences and implementation of research and development work in cooperation with a post-secondary vocational school in Krakow that trains future firefighters, which will aim to evaluate the construction and design solutions affecting the fire safety of facilities.

A ceremonial signing of the letter of intent pertaining to the establishment of the Centre for Fire Safety and Acoustics, combined with a symbolic turining of the first shovelful of ground for construction, took place at the Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Ceramics and Building Materials.

7 men perform the symbolic turning of the first shovelful of ground.

Photo: AGH UST

The letter of intent has been signed by the Witold Kozłowski, Marshal of the Małopolska Province, Józef Gawron, Vice-Marshal of the Małopolska Province, Prof. Jerzy Lis, AGH UST Rector, Prof. Andrzej Białkiewicz, Rector of the Cracow University of Technology, Prof. Sylwester Tabor, Rector of the University of Agriculture in Krakow, Marek Chwała, marshal of the vocational school, Paweł Pichniarczyk, Director of the Łukasiewicz Institute of Ceramics and Building Materials, and Piotr Dardziński, President of Łukasiewicz Research Network.

Guests who have also participated in the ceremony include: Grzegorz Kądzielawski, Vice-President of the Management Board of Grupa Azoty S.A., Prof. Dariusz Bogdał, Vice-Rector for Science of the Cracow University of Technology, Prof. Kazimierz Furtak, former Rector of the Cracow University of Technology, Tadeusz Zaremba, President of the Board of Krakow Technology Park, as well as experts and research group leaders from the Łukasiewicz Institute of Ceramics and Building Materials.