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Octatube's factory is ideally equipped for prototyping, fabrication and testing of prototypes and mock-ups and the testing of structural elements and complete products, whether or not with the assistance of independent testing authorities.
Some architects compare our production facilities to “an ideal oversized model workshop that has gotten out of hand”. In the past 30 years more than a hundred prototypes and mock-ups have been realized.
Prototypes & Mock-ups
While the terms mock-up and prototype are sometimes being used interchangeably, a clear difference should be recognized. A mock-up is a (full) scale model that is built in order to evaluate the visual aspects and production technology of for instance a facade fragment. A prototype also includes essential interfaces and serves to demonstrate the technical performance of the building system.
Mock-ups and prototypes are an important tool to test and confirm the architectural appearance and technical performance of the design in an early stage. The reason Octatube carries out so many mock-ups and prototypes is the innovative character of its projects. Complex geometries, pioneering techniques and new material applications are often tested in advance. For prototype and mock-up development, different departments within the company (Design & Engineering, Production & Subcontracting and Installation) work closely together.
It is not unusual to commission the engineering, production and assembly of a mock-up or prototype in a pre-contract stage. After its realization, a scale model often serves as an important quality benchmark.
Mock-ups and prototypes are often stored in Octatube’s factory. Currently you will find the double skin facade of the Botín Center in Santander, the cablenet facade of the Market Hall in Rotterdam and the glass fin roof light of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London all within walking distance.
In (international) tender specifications one frequently finds a range of on-site and off-site testing such as initial safety testing, load testing, air permeability testing, weatherproofing testing, water tightness testing, wind resistance tests, impact testing, site hose testing, burglar resistance testing, testing of finishes, durability testing and sometimes fireproof- and bulletproof testing as well.
Every test is documented by Octatube in a test report. It is possible to attain a test report and/or certificate from an independent testing authority such as TNO, CWCT and project specific engineering consultants like Arup, Royal Haskoning DHV or Parsons.