The goal of this project proposal is: 1) To develop and build an innovative experimental facility which responds to a growing industrial need for application driven research and testing of (mainly building) components, connections and materials, of which the mechanical performance strongly depends on temperature, humidity, and ageing. Its size (component scale), capability of applying loads in multiple directions, and range (deep freezing temperatures to fire conditions) make this a unique facility. 2) To develop new expertise regarding the mechanical behaviour of building components under simultaneous exposure to multi-axial loads and non-standard environmental conditions (temperature (gradients), humidity, radiation). This knowledge development is of strategic importance for the Department in the next decennia. 3) Strengthen and attract industrial research cooperation, with a strong emphasis on contract research (up to 95%, including industrial PhD’s) and to a minor extent on service contracts (at least 5%).