As an industry, construction has always had a reputation for problem solving but not necessarily for problem prevention.
Increasingly, however, clients are looking for companies large and small who are embracing innovation, not just through technology (though it usually helps) but by wholesale changes in traditional approaches to work.
The nine finalists in this year’s Business Innovation category are without doubt putting innovation at the heart of their businesses, leaving the judging panel with a tough task in deciding this year’s winner.
After much debate, F-Board was crowned the victor having demonstrated a number of benefits in terms of the environment, cost efficiency and health and safety through the product of the same name.
The F-Board is a scaffold board made entirely from recycled plastic, which the company offers to buy back at the end of its life to make into new F-Boards, reducing the amount of timber used in the scaffolding sector.
It also lowers the impact on the environment and reduces CO2 emissions – the UK produces millions of timber scaffold boards every year, which need to be replaced after their typical lifespan of 12 to 18 months.
“This breakthrough innovation has huge benefits for the construction industry”
Not only were the judges impressed by the product’s green credentials, but also its ability to improve site safety.
Each board’s non-slip design reduces the risk of workers slipping or falling from height in all weather, while the F-Board retainer locks the end of boards into place, preventing them lifting or changing position and creating trip hazards.
The F-Board also delivers cost efficiencies that can benefit a project’s budget and be passed through the supply chain. Its lifecycle can reduce the frequency of purchasing scaffolding equipment, and by recycling their boards at the end of their lives, businesses also get a return on investment.
As a company, F-Board pointed to its focus on research and development, working with academic institutions to improve the product’s performance and expand its application to sectors such as nuclear, transport and oil and gas.
“This breakthrough innovation has huge benefits for the construction industry,” the judges said. “The company has shown dedication to innovation through ongoing product development, and by working on that with a number of leading universities in specialist fields.
“This ultra green product ticks all the boxes and the market seems huge,” they added.
Highly commended: D-Drill
The judges were suitably impressed with the D-Kerb Machine to award a high commendation to diamond drilling firm D-Drill.
The D-Kerb shows how an innovative business can help clients achieve time and cost efficiencies and improve safety.
After an unsuccessfull global search for an existing solution to create angled kerbs, D-Drill spent two years researching and developing its own equipment.
With the alternative being to ship in pre-cut kerbstones, remove existing stones and replace individually, D-Drill’s continuous approach to innovation has produced a machine that can reshape kerbstones in-situ.
The result cuts the time taken to complete this process from days to hours, reducing the carbon footprint of shipping materials, the inconvenience of road closures and the risk to workers on roads.
- APEM and AWPR construction joint venture
- Atlas Cloud
- dorsaVi Europe
- Morrison Utility Services