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💡Best Product Innovation
At the Construction News Awards 2023
This year I was fortunate to be a judge and presenter at the Construction News Awards, a well recognised badge of excellence rewarding the People, Pride and Passion of the industry. My category was Best Product Innovation and in this piece I’ll tell you a little bit about each of the shortlisted candidates, and the winner of course.
The awards evening was last night. It was a fantastic event with 1200 people attending and I was able to meet many brilliant people in our industry.
Etorch3 - Zero Emissions Electric Equipment for the Roofing Industry.
We were really please to pick the Etorch3 as the winner. The inspiring father and son team of Jonathan and Joshua were so passionate about the invention of this product and had gone through many iterations on the journey to this point. I also managed to speak to them after the presentation - it’s safe to say they were overwhelmed to have won!
After running a roofing business and seeing the hot works - largely facilitated by LPG - Jonathan wanted to remove the fossil fuels from site and at the same time reduce fire risk. The Etorch3 makes the application of self-adhesive roofing systems very simple and can quickly dry any surface.
Uptake around the UK sounds promising with orders from major contractors. We also thought there we other possible uses for the same technology. Well done everyone in the Imperial Thermal Engineering team! 🏆
Onto the other brilliant shortlisted entries, who deserve a round of applause too.
Large Format SIP at Juniper Place. 🔗
Rather than multiple standard panels forming one wall of a house, the full length of the wall is made in one piece.
We heard about the evolution of the rig, stillages and QC laser checking behind the change. On top of that, a really clever balancing lifting beam system for the crane has been created to make on site logistics simple when dealing with different length panels which have varying centres of gravity.
Explore Manufacturing’s Modular Bridges. 🔗
Explore showed their class and experience in creating this simple, product led solution. It involves a large selection of pre-cast concrete items that are lifted into place and quickly stitched together on site, with the key innovation being the pre-cast concrete shell which is cast in a figure of eight.
Select + Ampd Energy
Deploying the zero-emission 'Enertainer'. 🔗
Building on the previous use of the Punch flywheel, the Ampd Enertainer (see previous newsletter) does away with oversized on site generators and improves site efficiency if using a grid TBS connection.
We heard how it has been adapted for UK use (primarily around load size and fire suppression) and Select are using this at their large Olympia site.
Offsite Apartment Wiring Looms. 🔗
We loved how this was a solution to a programme conundrum when things went wrong on site. The team mapped out the rooms to be wired in their “Piggery” facility (a warehouse) and then rolled it all up onto a drum ready to be quickly clipped into place on site when required.
Now the team are doing this to increase efficiency, de-risk site install and reduce time on site.
IAQ and Energy Monitoring and Software. 🔗
The team have recently shifted from indoor air quality and are focusing their attention on energy efficiency. They have built a powerful dashboard which over time is becoming more and more sophisticated in joining datasets to make predictions, such as temperature and humidity resulting in a mould risk.
Currently the devices are easily installed and battery operated, but it sounded like they are going to step into the BACnet world where the Airthings system could be installed as part of building network/management infrastructure.
Deep Green Cabins
Deep Green Generator Free Site Welfare Cabins. 🔗
How much good stuff can you squeeze into a welfare cabin? Quite a lot!
Removing the generator was the key move, but this comes with a host of other technologies to make the cabins super energy efficient and cut reliance on deliveries (e.g. water). Some of the tech includes water harvesting and reuse, solar panels, and software for monitoring key metrics to optimise usage and service call outs.
An improvement to the 90 year old stalwart acrow. 🔗
We loved this brilliantly simple invention that reminded us of the move from the scaffold spanner to impact wrench when fitting clips. Surely this is the future for acrow props?
For me, I wanted to see if the new clip could be swapped onto old props, thus saving a lot of material and opening up the market for rapid adoption.
Revolutionary ground improvement and deep foundations. 🔗
This piling hardware cleverly tests the compressive strength of the soil at the base of the pile as it is being installed, allowing for accurate validation of the design intent and also compressing the soil prior to loading.
The rest of the install is much like a typical CFA pile where the auger is removed as concrete is pumped, however there should be minimal settlement due to the pre-stressed soil under the base of the pile.