The concrete engineering Laboratory now known as Advanced Concrete Testing & Evaluation Laboratory (ACTEL) was the first to be established in the campus. the concrete laboratory is roofed over by precast funicular shell units which form a waffle-shell system similar to the well-known waffle-slabs widely used in the USA. The waffle-shell system is superior to the waffle-slab as it is much stiffer; and hence, it is suitable for carrying heavy loading. CSIR-SERC is carrying out pioneering research and development work in the area of construction materials, products and techniques, since the decade of the sixties. it had developed cost-effective concrete products and construction techniques for residential, institutional, and industrial buildings.
Since 1966-67, in collaboration with Tata Iron & Steel company Ltd., Jamshedpur, CSIR-SERC has spearheaded the introduction of high strength deformed bars in concrete construction and also popularised the method of ultimate strength designs for reinforced concrete (RC) structures.