Our facilities

The School of Natural and Built Environments has a great range of facilities that are utilised by students, staff and researchers. Read on to find out more.

Adelaide Planetarium  

Come to UniSA’s Adelaide Planetarium at Mawson Lakes and learn all about the constellations, stars and planets from the comfort of your armchair.

2012 is the 40th anniversary of the Planetarium, so what better time to come and see the Southern Hemisphere night sky brilliantly recreated. An impressive 5,000 stars are projected onto our eight-metre diameter dome ceiling.

The water and wastewater treatment division provides services for determination of water and wastewater characteristics and special facilities for research and development of water and wastewater treatment processes. The division can also access on-campus specialised equipment for advanced study and research in collaboration with the School of Chemical Technology.

Building Science Laboratory

Our 100m2 'wet' laboratory provides an ideal space for the making and testing of a range of building materials including cement based products, coatings and membranes. In addition, there is an accelerated weathering facility for assessing the ability of materials to withstand climatic exposure and provision for the testing and monitoring of large construction components.

Our 'clean' laboratory of 90m2 enables more accurate testing to be carried out in both a hands on and demonstration mode.Equipment is available for the mechanical testing of materials, on site diagnostic techniques for building material problems and building surveys/inspections.

Experiential Learning Studio

This Studio is a new type of experiential learning environment containing the latest audio visual equipment.The Studio can provide students with the opportunity to engage in hands on learning
as demonstrated on the large wireless touch panel located at the front of the room. This room is broken up into various sections:

  • Teaching Station (located at the front of the class room)
  • Pod Stations located around the classroom - there are seven pods in the room. (Each pod allows students to display content from their pod laptop connection or pod desktop PC onto the pod AV screen.)

The touch panel at the front of the room will allow the teacher to:

  • display content from their laptop or desktop PC (which is located in the AV rack)
  • display and control content from a DVD/VCR combo player (which is located in the AV rack)
  • switch content from teaching station to multiple pods or a single pod to the projector or other pods.

The facility is open from 9-5 for teaching. After 5pm, access is via swipe card for staff (and for students upon request.)

The Experiential Learning Studio is an NBE dedicated space. Any request for Studio access from non NBE staff must be approved by the School. If you require access please send a request to Danielle Gericke.

Geographical Information Systems Laboratory

This 15 seat Unix computer laboratory has been designed for spatial information systems (SIS) and remote sensing training and is located at the City East Campus. It includes high speed graphics workstations and digitisers.

The Peripherals laboratory has PCs for global positioning satellites (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS) processing, digitisers, printers and large plotters. Downloading data from a GPS receiver to a laptop computer for post-processing in the office is also available.

Geomechanics and Pavement Laboratories

This facility consists of seven laboratories that include:

  • Constant temperature rooms, environmental chambers and Soil and aggregates preparation area
  • Compaction (Standard and Modified compaction), density testing, CBR testing, unconfined compressive strength testing and sieving
  • Oedometers with computerized data loggers for collapse and consolidation tests   
  • Standard computer controlled triaxial testing systems 
  • Computer controlled triaxial system for stress and strain path controlled testing with bender elements fitted to determine small strain stiffness and Poisson’s ratio for soils
  • Computer controlled resilient modulus testing facility for bound and unbound materials with on-sample axial and radial strain measurement
  • Soil classification tests, permeability tests
  • Expansive soil characterization including swell tests, core shrinkage test, dew point psychrometers, electrical conductivity tests for solute suction, filter paper tests for total and matric suction, bubbling columns and axis translation technique for SWCC determination
  • Computer controlled micro-step shear box system
  • Simple shear testing apparatus
  • Mobile hydraulic drill rig with ability to sample to 5M
  • Neutron moisture density gauge
  • Rock mechanics test equipment.

Spatial Measurement and Information Research Laboratory 

This Laboratory contains three Unix workstations (two Sun and one Dec) as well as PCs for spatial information science work.

In addition, an A0 digitiser and an A0 raster plotter provide input and output facilities for software including ARC/INFO, ERDAS/IMAGINE, Leica/Helava Socetset for digital photogrammetry and Bernese software for GPS processing are available. One of the Sun workstations has an additional stereo-viewing capability for digital photogrammetry.

The laboratory also contains a 10 band radiometer for field remote sensing work, over 40Gb of hard disk storage for digital GIS, remote sensing, photogrammetric and GPS data and a high resolution flat bed scanner for digitising photographs. 

Digital Learning Laboratory

Our goal at Project LIVE is to transform traditional classroom activities into flexible, interactive and engaging experiential learning exercises using immersive digital visualisations – Learning through Immersive Virtual Environments. This is achieved using two innovative lab spaces: the Panorama Room and Visualisation Studio. The first is equipped with a multi-projector facility that enables the simultaneous display of 270-degree panoramic images and videos for the purpose of information integration and collaborative learning. The second is a VR-enabled computer studio equipped with both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive virtual reality headsets and touch controllers. These learning spaces are available for interactive workshops, showcases, student visits and tours, and have recently been recognised by an Australian Award for University Teaching for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. So come and visit the award-winning Project LIVE and immerse yourself a journey through some amazing virtual worlds!


Structural Engineering Laboratories 

 This facility consists of two laboratories that include:

  • A 33m x 17m reaction-loading floor with a 10 ton gantry crane
  • High capacity load reactionary frames with a maximum height of 7m and spans up to 10m
  • MTS cyclic loading system with a range of hydraulic actuators from 100kN to 1000 kN
  • Manual hydraulic loading actuators ranging from 2kN to 1000kN
  • Dynamic and static computer controlled data acquisition for load, strain and deflection
  • Masonry wall racking loading systems for earthquake simulation
  • Masonry wall testing system for simulating foundation movement due to reactive soils
  • Universal testing machines in the range of 2kN to 3600kN
  • Extensive workshop to support the special needs of structures testing
  • A large range of frames and assemblies for reaction loading
  • Simulated wind load panel testing system
  • Ridge and knee joint testing apparatus
  • A range of force, deflection and strain measurement systems
  • Cyclonic impact test rig 

Areas of study and research

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