Having successfully developed a pioneering automated resurfacing system for the military’s aircraft carrier fleet, Platinum embarked upon a mission to apply similar technology to the construction industry.
Stephen Maltby, Managing Director of Platinum, said: “The UK construction industry is a significant part of the UK economy and employer, but it faces many challenges. It is slow to innovate, suffers low productivity, building only half of the 340,000 new homes, including 140,000 social housing, needed each year, and it has an aging workforce and skills shortage. On top of this, is the increasing pressure to address the ever-increasing demand for CO2 reductions. If the construction industry were a country, it would be the third biggest contributor toward global warming.
“The government’s Modern Methods of Construction’ (MMC) framework has started to increase adoption to more sustainable forms of construction, however until there is a much stronger drive, as seen in other countries, UK construction companies remain slow to engage in BAM technologies.”
Platinum successfully applied for support from Innovate UK’s KTP programme to develop sustainable materials and the machinery to enable the on-site, in-situ additive manufacture of structural materials for the construction industry, initially intended for the social housing sector.
Stephen added: “Our aim was to create a system capable of the in-situ manufacture of two-storey structures and eventually a row of terraced houses. With labour at a premium in terms of both cost and availability, the construction industry is losing domain expertise at a rapid pace. The strength of automation to run 24/7 with little or no supervision using cutting edge technologies can truly change the way we think about housing construction.”