National Buried Infrastructure Facility

National Buried Infrastructure Facility

Located at the University of Birmingham, NBIF is a ‘one of its kind’ facility for research, education and training in buried infrastructure-ground interaction.

Researchers using the facility will improve knowledge of where existing infrastructure is, what condition it is in and the ground it is buried in. It enables scientists to test a variety of buried infrastructure systems at, or near to, full-scale to help them understand their physical and operational performance. This includes, for example, pipelines and cables, culverts and tunnels, road foundations and barrier wall systems.  

The resulting scientific evidence base will help inform decisions on innovative engineering of new infrastructure systems, on cost-effective maintenance and adaptation of existing infrastructures, and building in resilience to cities’ infrastructure systems in the face of increasing demands and climate change. 

Who can use the facility Functions/facilities available

Industry partners, other researchers

All lab facilities, currently seeking ideas for research now and for the future

Technology Proof of Concept Lab facilities
Industrial Fellowships and Secondments Lab facilities, study space
PhD Studentships Lab facilities, study space

Facility Highlights

  • £21.7m investment
  • 25m x 10m x 5m deep pit with moveable floor sections, including a 10m x 5m moveable floor section to simulate subsurface ground displacements
  • Material storage and test assembly areas
  • Pipeline and small-structure testing rigs
  • Material characterisation facilities
  • Visualisation suite and knowledge transfer rooms

Find out more


Watch the National Buried Infrastructure Facility presentation or download the slides as a PDF.