Find the latest innovation and technology at UK Construction Week this October. If the last twelve months has taught us anything, it is that keeping up to the latest technology is essential to surviving in this fast ever moving industry. This year at UK Construction Week, we will welcome back our popular feature, Innovation Zone, where construction’s most innovative products will be showcased. From recycled bricks to self-sanitizing door lever handle, 100% natural panels to air quality surface coating, there will bound to be something that you will want to learn more of to adopt to your practice.
Innovation within Construction is on the up
Disruptors are now present in many different markets, so UKCW is shining a spotlight on the serious change-makers in construction. The aim is to promote productivity, speed, quality, sustainability and social cohesion, showing how innovation can create new value in the industry and stop the short-term, purely cost-driven ‘race to the bottom.
The Innovation Zone is a non-sales environment where visitors can explore the new ideas, learn and be inspired.
It has been two years since the last UK Construction Week, and the pandemic has sped up the transformation of the construction industry and innovation within it. This will be your chance to see some of the best innovations that are changing the way we construct.
Innovation Zone Products
Company: Studio Kathryn Larson
The Danish Island of Læsø used an old thatching technique that used seaweed, Kathryn Larson has been inspired by this traditional technique to create Acoustic Eelgrass, panels made from thatched eelgrass (seagrass), on a wooden frame. The panels create an interior acoustic solution, to dampen the acoustics. The eelgrass is a natural product from traditional seaweed farmers In Denmark. Acoustic Eelgrass is designed to be disassembled so that every material can be reused or recycled.
Bullfix Universal - Plasterboard Fixing
The plasterboard market is filled with many products but there was no single fitting that could offer an easy, quick and super strong anchor to plasterboard in all applications of Stud Walls, ‘Dot & Dab’ and insulation backed plasterboard,
However, Bullfix has the solution with Bullfix Universal – Plasterboard Fixing.
By using an innovative concept, Bullfix have developed a fixing that wraps strong wings behind the plasterboard as it is inserted into the hole, this results in a much stronger solution. Due to its unique design, it is impossible to get a compromised installation with the wings not being fully deployed.
Climate change is one of the big issues of our time. CO2MP created by Max Stein is a solution approach to absorb CO2 in urban areas, and an ecological, aesthetic and an economic added value is created.
CO2MP is a modular facade system for existing buildings, which can be flexibly attached to most types of facades.
It consists of bioreactors, which provide a habitat for the floating fern Azolla filiculoides, the most CO2-metabolising and fastest growing plants in the world, with low demands on location, care and nutrient supply. In addition, the system should also offer architectural added value in the form of façade greening and biomass is produced for further processing
Company: Configured platforms
Configured platforms have finally arrived in the UK, after being well established in the Australia and New Zealand Construction Industry. This new and unique product and concept are pre-engineered aluminium roof platforms and enclosures for HVACR plant and equipment. This product is now being extensively used in NHS projects.
The K-Briq created by Kenoteq is an external facing brick, made almost entirely from recycled construction waste. The K-Briq has just one tenth the embodies carbon of traditional bricks, requiring no cement and not being fired at high temperatures. This brick will help revolutionise construction practises forever, this is circular economy thinking within construction.
Company: LAB. M. 0
The average person spends over 90% of their time indoors, this means the quality of air people breathe inside is vital for your health and wellbeing. LAB. M. 0 have created Puri-Face, a surface coating that helps improve indoor air quality. Puri-face breaks down pollutants such as carbon monoxide (CO) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It can be applied to any furniture or other interior fixtures, creating an energy-free purifier. This project is a collaboration with Dr Gi Byoung Hwang in UCL chemistry department and the material is patent pending.
Company: Nottingham Trent University
Earthquakes are devastating and in response Nottingham Trent University has created QUAKE-SAFE, for use in developing countries which is designed to reduce the seismic vibrations exerted on a structure by isolating the foundations. The design promotes stronger and sustainable rebuilding techniques in the wake of earthquakes while protecting local building traditions and culture. QUAKE-SAFE was developed in accordance with industry standard earthquake resilience regulations.
Self-sanitizing door lever handle
Company: Titanology Limited
Door handles of public areas such as hospitals, shopping centres and schools show a high incidence of contamination by various strains of bacteria and viruses. Titanology Limited have developed an effective ‘Self-sanitizing door handle lever’ designed to prevent transmission of harmful pathogens in public places. A system of partial internal reflection of UV light is used inside a cylindrical transparent door handle tube coated in Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) by photocatalyzed activity to effectively and safely decompose pathogens.
shoulderX, backX, legX
Construction workers can become tired and injured through strenuous manual labour. SuitX have created a range of industrial exoskeletons, spring assisted wearable devices that can make users feel less tired and reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries. The devices are light, comfortable and easy to use and have adjustable support levels, toolless adjustments and fire rated options.
The backX can be used for lifting taskings and will transfer around 60% of the forces from the lower back when the user bends at the hips.
The shoulderX will support the user when they extend from the shoulder.
The legX will relieve the forces on the knees as the user squats and transfers the load to the ground and can be used as a mobile seat.
The devices use springs to transfer forces from the vulnerable muscles to large ones.
Oculo Hard Hat Camera
Company: Oculo Technologies Ltd
Oculo uses hard-hat cameras to create a 360° “streetview” of the construction site that can be viewed and navigated through online. This allows the user to pick any point on the floor plan and then see, within a few clicks, what the site currently looks like. Doing this repeatedly over the course of the project then gives the ability to look back in time to see what work had been completed at a specific date, or to see what lies beneath walls and areas subsequently closed up.
Oculo leverages the power of advanced computer vision and machine learning to do this, removing the need for teams and stakeholders to be onsite in order to make a decision or get things done. This transforms workflows and effortlessly creates comprehensive, visual as-built documentation. The result is increased productivity at the site level, a powerful weapon to manage subcontractors and the creation of a visual history, which will help defend again future claims whilst also paying other dividends throughout the lifetime of the asset.
ULTRA LIGHT FILLER
ULTRA LIGHT FILLER, is an ultra-light ready mixed filler which offers a fast drying and shrink-free filling in only one coat in the lightest paste. With professionals in mind, Semin has worked on a formulation that would help reduce time in between coats hence speeding up the work on site. ULTRA LIGHT FILLER can be used to repair interior or exterior walls and ceilings and can be used on a wide range of surfaces, such as plaster, masonry, cellular concrete, concrete, plasterboard, roughcast, wood or cement render.
The foamy texture allows for the ideal application, no product dripping the filler stretches easily and with a light, very fine sanding to remove the edges resulting in a perfect application.
Company: Durisol UK Ltd
Durisol is a woodcrete insulating concrete formwork (ICF). Durisol ICF is a new way of building offering a simple and sustainable alternative to cavity masonry, brick and block, block and block and timber-frame construction.
The product is an interlocking wall form unit made from recycled waste wood fibre bonded with cement. The units are dry-stacked (no mortar required) and in-filled with concrete to create single-skin solid walls (external, internal and retaining).
Building with Durisol has many benefits, including:
High energy efficiency: The concrete within the Durisol unit creates a high thermal mass which helps maintain a stable temperature. Additionally, the insulation primarily on the exterior of the concrete mass allows the transfer of heat/energy between the concrete and the interior space to maximise any thermal mass gains. As a result, homes built with Durisol have low U values and require less heating than those made with traditional materials.
Speed: The simplicity of the Durisol system means it’s quick to build with, thus reducing build time and associated labour costs.
Sustainability: Durisol is derived from recycled clean softwood waste material destined for landfill. The manufacturing process sequesters the carbon that would otherwise release into the environment during the wood’s natural decay.
A flexible thermal insulation system made from UK crops with a net carbon storage.
IndiTherm® natural fibre insulation batts can be friction fit between structural framing or against masonry - with excellent rigidity to resist slumping. Healthy and soft to touch for installers, building occupants also benefit from the exceptional thermal and moisture buffering properties of this sustainable material. It has the added property of low-density heat storage, which means indoor temperatures stay warm in winter and cool in summer. IndiTherm has very large carbon savings, with net negative embodied carbon, and will be available at scale from Autumn 2022.
IndiBoards - semi-rigid, multi-purpose thermal and acoustic insulation boards made from UK crops - will also be available from Summer 2023. When combined with IndiTherm, IndiBoards® create a continuous thermal envelope around a structure – reducing thermal bridging through structural elements, creating a highly energy efficient system called IndiBreathe®.