Canadian Consulting Engineer

Fast + Epp unveils ‘concept lab’ in Vancouver

April 19, 2022

Its purpose is to accelerate innovation in the AEC industries.

Fast + Epp concept lab

Photo courtesy Fast + Epp.

Structural engineering firm Fast + Epp has launched a 5,500-sf ‘concept lab’ at its new Vancouver home office.

The collaborative research and workshop space, which occupies the entire ground floor and half of the second floor of the mass-timber building, is dedicated to experiential learning, hands-on research and testing. Its purpose is to accelerate innovation in the architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) industries.

Specifically, the concept lab comprises four hubs:

  • The development area, featuring a material sample library and a networking/hosting space for product launches and educational seminars, accommodating up to 150 guests.
  • The fabrication area, featuring 3-D printers, robotic fabrication machines, woodworking and metalworking tools.
  • The testing area, featuring a 100,000-lb self-reacting structural loading frame and precise vibration instrumentation.
  • The digital area on the second floor, dedicated to software development, material optimization strategies, parametric design techniques and machine learning.

The lab will facilitate the in-house development and fabrication of prototypes, demonstrate their feasibility and use them as visualization and communication tools. The goal is for the open-concept studio to serve as a design idea ‘springboard’ for AEC firms, academia and innovators, allowing for knowledge-sharing across partnerships.

“We hope to develop new technologies, practices and procedures that will enable industry-wide innovation and positively impact the spaces where we live, work and play,” says founder and partner Paul Fast.


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