FAIR ahead: Construc­tion work for the “Universe in the Laboratory” is progressing

29 May 2018
Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe GmbH Darmstadt, Germany
FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research), the international particle accelerator in Darmstadt, Hesse, will be one of the largest research facilities in the world. In the future, the smallest particles will collide at almost the speed of light and help researchers to find out more about the evolution of the universe and the structure of matter. Last week, the first section of the excavation pit was handed over to the shell builder.

This new particle accelerator is being built on an area of 20 hectares. Around 600,000 m³ of concrete will be used over the coming years and the same volume of soil will be moved that would be shifted to build 5,000 private homes. The construc­tion of the new ring accelerator will also require 65,000 tons of steel, roughly equivalent to the weight of nine Eiffel towers.

The 1.1-km-long ring tunnel will be built in sections. The building ground is already stabilised with 1,350 concrete piles. CDM Smith is providing all geot­ech­ni­cal, consulting and planning services for the foundation of the project and also supervising the execution of the work on site. A combined pile slab foundation is planned for all buildings, except for the ring, itself.

The first section of the first excavation pit has just been handed over to the shell builder. In the coming weeks, the shell builder will begin to install the lightning protection and the protective layer before production of the base plate can begin.

CDM Smith provides lasting and integrated solutions in water, environment, transportation, energy and facilities to public and private clients worldwide. As a full-service engineering and construction firm, we deliver exceptional client service, quality results and enduring value across the entire project life cycle.

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The handover of the first construction phase is an important milestone for CDM Smith.
Wolfgang Kissel Project Manager

Did you know?

FAIR is a unique international accelerator facility for research with antiprotons and ions. The heart of the new underground facility is a 1.1-kilometer-long ring accelerator. Within the ring, electrically charged particles, ions and antiprotons attain a speed of 297,000 km/second and thus reach almost the speed of light. By colliding with a resistor such as a foil or biological cell samples, new forms of matter come into being and scientists hope that this will allow them to gain new insights into the history of the development of the universe.