Laboratory & Large-Scale Models

IIHR’s 10 facilities include several large warehouse-sized buildings designed specifically to accommodate large physical models. Physical hydraulic modeling is a core strength at IIHR, perfected through decades of experience developing innovative designs and supporting applied hydraulic research. With IIHR’s demonstrated expertise, experience, facilities, and equipment, we can build a precision model of any hydraulic structure.

Did You Know?

  • IIHR has constructed several large warehouse-sized models, including a 50x33x1.4-meter replica of the Columbia River gorge including the Wanapum and Priest Rapids dams.
  • IIHR’s James Street Laboratory offers 17,000 square feet for the construction of large hydraulic models.
  • Our team has extensive experience designing and constructing physical hydraulic models for clients including London, New York City, Washington, D.C., Abu Dhabi, and major hydroelectric public utilities.

Modeling Facilities

Large-scale model of a dam at James Street

James Street Lab

James Street Laboratory (JSL), purchased in 2003, provides large open space for river models. The building’s capabilities include large overhead doors and high ceilings for greater flexibility and easy access, and 300 Hp of pumping capability for ground recirculating models.

Close-up of water flowing through a hydraulic model

Model Annex

Most of the space in the Model Annex is available for a constantly changing array of short-term small- and medium-sized hydraulic models for both applied and fundamental research projects. These models are continuously being built, utilized, and torn down here.

A man watches water flow through a hydraulic model of the London sewer

Hydraulics Annexes 1 & 2

Hydraulics Annexes One and Two offer space for large models, including fish passage studies and stormwater conveyance structures. HA1 has a 75,000-gallon sump pit for water storage. HA2 features 24-foot-high clear-span construction and large overhead doors, so very large models can be built and tested without interference from roof support columns. HA2 is also home to IIHR’s new wind tunnel, constructed in 2014.