The Centre for Wood Science and Technology has facilities in two different locations:

“7 hills”

(37 Bankhead Crossway South, EH11 4EP)

Our main base of operation is at the Institute for Sustainable Construction’s “7 hills” building where we have our offices, testing laboratory, wood workshop and temperature and humidity controlled conditioning chambers.

This facility, which we share with the Centre for Offsite Construction and Innovative Structures,  includes:

A 50kN capacity Zwick Z050 universal testing machine

A large bending test machine with a 100 kNm capacity capable of testing beams to EN408 of up to 275mm depth and 100mm width.

A 1kNm capacity Tinius Olsen torsion tester with an extension to take samples up to 3.6m in length.

This laboratory can also test racking performance of structural systems (walls and floors). a “FRITS” frame for distortion measurement

We test in accordance with Standards including EN408 and BS373.  The main type of testing we do is four-point bending of structural sized timber and three-point bending of small clear samples, but we can also do tension, compression, shear,  hardness and other types of testing.

We have drying ovens for gravimetric (oven dry) measurement of moisture content (EN13183-1) as well as electrical resistance and capacitance moisture meters for measurement in accordance with EN13183-2 and EN13183-3.


Field and site equipment for forest mensuration and non-destructive testing includes Fibre-gen “Hitman” HM200 for log segregation, IML hammer  for sound velocity measurement and Rinntech Arbotom 3D impulse tomograph for assessing the condition of trees.  We have Proceq Pundit Lab Plus ultrasonic pulse velocity equipment with a range of transducers and a Grindosonic apparatus for impulse excitation measurement.

This campus also houses the large structures laboratory of the School of the Built Environment, which has 100, 200 and 300kN servo hydraulic actuators for larger tests.

Our shared wood science laboratories contain a Scanning Electron Microscope, optical microscopes, dynamic vapour sorption equipment, swelling and shrinkage rigs, BS7976 slip testing and conditioning cabinets.  We have expertise in wood species identification and diagnosis of durability problems.

Edinburgh Napier University has other facilities which may be used for projects, including the large structures laboratory of the School of the Built Environment, which has 100, 200 and 300kN servo hydraulic actuators for larger tests, and the electron and optical microsopes xxx

Forest Research

(Northern Research Station, Roslin, EH25 9SY)

We partner with Forest Research, and share some facilities at their Northern Research Station.  These include a timber drying kiln (up to 3m timber length), a woodmizer portable sawmill, and an ITRAX x-ray micro-densitometer.

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