New £24m fire resistance testing laboratory nearing completition


A NEW £24m fire resistance testing laboratory is nearing completion at Warrington’s Birchwood Technology Park.

Four out of a planned seven state-of-the-art fire resistance testing furnaces are already installed.
In August last year, Warringtonfire, the UK’s leading testing and certification provider, announced it was building a brand new 101,000sqft facility.
This significant investment enables Warringtonfire, part of the global Element Materials Technology (Element) group, to expand capacity and meet increasing demand for fire resistance testing of critical fire safety products and systems, such as fire doorsets, intumescent coatings for steel protection, and other passive fire protection solutions.
Ten months into Warringtonfire’s projected 17-month build programme, four furnaces have been fitted and are ready to enter the commissioning phase shortly. The furnaces will be supported by a raft of technology to carefully manage air quality both during and after the testing process.

This includes new air handling and high-performance ventilation systems, as well as cold smoke and hot smoke extraction systems, ensuring a better working environment for employees and compliance with strict environmental regulations. To support this, specialists from Element undertook an extensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) involving acoustics and noise modelling, air quality dispersion modelling, and emissions monitoring.
By the laboratory’s open date, scheduled for January, two vertical furnaces, two horizontal furnaces, and one indicative furnace will be ready to accept test specimens. Another two furnaces, one horizontal and one vertical, will be installed by the end of 2026. In total, this will represent an 80 per cent increase in testing capacity over Warringtonfire’s current site at Holmesfield Road, Warrington. Following the opening of the Birchwood Park laboratory, the existing facility will become a centre of excellence for reaction to fire testing, which are smaller scale tests including spread of flame and heat release.
Dafydd Llewelyn-Jones, project manager for Element Materials Technology, has been coordinating the laboratory’s construction.
He said: “We are on track with our progress and are actually seven weeks ahead of schedule in terms of the furnaces themselves. We are now moving swiftly along to fitting out all the office areas and control rooms, commissioning the building services, and completing the test bay preparation areas.

“It is brilliant to see this project coming together. We have put a significant amount of money into making this new laboratory truly one of the best in Europe, if not the world.”
Besides the investment into furnaces, Warringtonfire is committed to reducing the laboratory’s carbon footprint and making the new site as sustainable as possible. Measures include energy-efficient fans, upgraded power supply transformers that consume minimal electricity when idle, and electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure including a fleet of EV forklifts and charging points.
The site will also be well lit, through a combination of natural light from skylights and LED lighting that delivers a high lux level. In addition, the laboratory is set up to accept a blend of clean hydrogen and natural gas once local infrastructure offers this service.
For more information about Warringtonfire’s new site, the latest updates or to book for 2025, please visit


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  1. This building was built and owned by Warrington Borough Council and not Warrington Fire Testing , the previous building in Howley raised many objections by residents close to it due to fumes and smells . This should never have been approved to be built in the area . “Sensitive receptors “ people in close proximity to this enormous building who may be exposed to emissions are 2 daytime nurseries a school , Birchwood residents and Gorse Covert . The only people benefitting from this is the business itself , residents are simply collateral damage

  2. Shocking but no surprise that wbc took it upon themselves not to speak to the birchwood community about this building. Fancy allowing this right next to your flagship business (birchwood park), I’m sure future business owners will love having that so close!
    Utter contempt for the whole of birchwood shown perfectly with this one. Built so they can make a few quid towards their massive debt

    • Spot on 👍 Pretty sure If I was working in such close proximity and my children were in the 2 potentially affected nurseries I would not be happy . Interesting fact : The only people consulted with regards to this build and to be very clear it is owned by WBC and Not Element Fire was the businesses themselves . Residents were “notified” via a piece of paper stuck to a lampost at the far end of Daten Ave . Birchwood Town Council also did not consider raising this with residents as they had been “assured” it was safe

  3. Are the people of Birchwood going to get a reduction in council tax already the highest in Warrington.
    Seeing as our elected representatives failed to inform the residents or school s of this .
    One thinks it’s time for protests before we have serious issues bestowed upon Birchwood.


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