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Take A Tour Of One Of The Largest Research Facilities Under Construction In The World: The Facility For Antiproton And Ion Research In Europe—or “FAIR”

bylt stock library credit ckphotographyx

Darmstadt, Germany – One of the largest research facilities in the world is under construction, The Facility For Antiproton And Ion Research. The research facility is located in the Rhine-Main-Area‘s southern reaches (Frankfurt Metropolitan Region). Darmstadt has a population of approximately 160,000, placing it fourth in the State of Hesse behind Frankfurt am Main, Wiesbaden, and Kassel.

The Facility For Antiproton And Ion Research Map Location

Darmstadt is officially known as the “City of Science” or in German: “Wissenschaftsstadt” due to its concentration of scientific institutes, universities, and high-tech firms. Darmstadt is home to the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), and the GSI Centre for Heavy Ion Research, which discovered several chemical elements, including bohrium, meitnerium, hassium, darmstadtium, roentgenium, and copernicium. nihonium, flerovium, moscovium, livermorium, and tennessine through the years.

Darmstadt which is also home to Merck, the world’s oldest pharmaceutical firm, which employs the majority of the city’s residents will now have a new worldwide accelerator facility: The Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR).

The Mathildenhöhe, including the Darmstadt artists’ colony, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2021 as a major center of the Jugendstil artistic movement, referring to both the group of artists active in the city in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the buildings they designed, along with the Russian Chapel in Darmstadt.

Darmstadt Mathildenhohe
View of buildings in Mathildenhöhe

In Darmstadt, Germany, construction is now underway on the international accelerator facility FAIR, which will be one of the world’s largest research projects when completed. At FAIR, matter that is normally found only in the depths of space will be created in a laboratory for the purpose of research. Thousands of scientists from all around the world will be able to obtain new insights into the structure of matter, as well as how the universe has evolved from its beginnings to the current day.

GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung is currently constructing a facility known as FAIR.
Its existing accelerator facilities will be included into FAIR and will serve as the initial acceleration stage of the project.

In order to bring FAIR to fruition, accelerator experts, scientists, and engineers from FAIR and GSI are collaborating closely in teams throughout the world.

FAIR Research Facility civil construction

FAIR is one of the largest construction research projects in the world. The massive undertaking broke ground in 2017. The construction site is located to the east of the current GSI complex, which will be used as the first acceleration stage in the future due to the presence of existing accelerators in the complex.

The construction of 25 buildings is taking place on a site that is approximately 150,000 m2, or roughly 37 acres. In addition to the underground accelerator tunnel, which measures 1100 meters in circumference, there are many other notable structures. They are being constructed in order to house and operate the newly developed high-tech research facilities that are currently under construction.

FAIR GSI – The Universe in the Lab – © FAIR/ion42 – The civil construction of the FAIR particle accelerator facility, which is a one-of-a-kind particle accelerator facility in the world. In terms of size and complexity, the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) will be one of the world’s largest and most complex accelerator facilities. The facility’s centerpiece is a ring accelerator with a circumference of 1,100 meters that serves as its focal point. FAIR will provide an opportunity for approximately 3,000 scientists from around the world to conduct world-class research. There will be new fundamental insights into the structure of matter and the evolution of the universe as a result of their ground-breaking investigations.

For this multinational and extremely complex mega-construction project, the development of integrated construction workflow planning was required, which closely coordinated the building, civil and construction engineering, accelerator development and construction, as well as the conduct of scientific experiments.

cross section of fair research facility
Cross section of the ring tunnel facility for the SIS100 accelerator, which is 40 meters wide. The accelerator is located within the rectangular tunnel on the left side of the room. The supply facilities are located in the right-hand portion of the tunnel system. courtesy

The transfer building is the facility’s most sophisticated structure. It serves as the facility’s central core for the beam guidance system. The SIS100 particle accelerator’s 1100 meter-long tube is positioned up to 17 meters underground. A supply tunnel runs parallel to the accelerator tunnel. There will be space here for structures like power and liquid helium cables, power supply units, and maybe systems for managing the ion beam’s quality.

FAIR Research Facility Fun Civil Construction Facts

:// 2 million cubic meters of earth to be excavated — as much as for 5,000 single-family homes

:// 600,000 cubic meters of concrete to be used — as much as eight Frankfurt soccer stadiums

:// 65,000 tons of steel to be utilized — as much as for nine Eiffel Towers

:// Employees of GSI and FAIR – 1,580 employees

:// Scientific users of the FAIR facility – 3000 researchers from 50 countries.

:// Investments – 3.1 billion euros (price level 2020).

:// Start of commissioning for first experiments Planned for 2025.

:// End of construction work – Planned for 2027.

Site Overview – #UniverseInTheLab – Physicists from all around the world will be able to gain new insights into the structure of matter and the evolution of the universe from the Big Bang to the present.

FAIR Facility Architectural & Design Team

DGI Bauwerk, Berlin, and schneider + schumacher

DGI Bauwerk of Berlin and schneider + schumacher of Frankfurt/M won the European tender to design the international accelerator facility FAIR and started work back in 2008.

Construction Equipment On The FAIR Construction Site

One of the sites most complicated problems is Site Logistics on the FAIR project. One of the most utilized and depended on pieces of construction equipment on site is the crane. The site employs a fleet of over 30 material handling assets.

Liebherr, a well know construction equipment manufacturer, has several of its projects on site.




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