EDINBURGH Napier experts have been handed a key role in plans for the UK’s first patented prefabricated timber frame party wall system.
The proposal has become the first innovative project to be approved by Construction Scotland Innovation Centre’s technical advisory group of industry and academic experts.
The University’s team will provide specialist input with the design of the wall system, which is the brainchild of the Stewart Milne Group and can be used in the construction of housing, hotels and student accommodation.
The Innovation Centre, which was launched in October 2014, was set up to transform the Scottish construction industry by encouraging companies to innovate to drive profitable growth. It provides Scotland’s 31,000+ construction businesses with a ‘one-stop shop’ for accessing a team of experts and public support.
The Stewart Milne Group will be given almost £100,000 of funding to help bring the product through the research and development stages and onto the market.
Edinburgh Napier University’s experts in sustainable construction will contribute to product design and performance validation in a laboratory and site environment to analyse structural, acoustic, fire and thermal performance in partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University.
The project has also secured £230,000 government innovation funding from Innovate UK, leveraging in additional collaborators and expertise.
When the product is fully developed, it should become the first patented prefabricated timber frame system in the UK, with great potential for export.
Professor Sean Smith, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Construction based at Edinburgh Napier, said: “We are delighted to be providing our expertise into this project. This Stewart Milne innovation is exciting in terms of the environmental, manufacturing and technical performance criteria targets and will be a transformational in its impact.”
The project could create 24 new jobs at Stewart Milne Group, thanks to the creation of two new production lines.
Alex Goodfellow, Group Managing Director of Stewart Milne Timber Systems said: “We are looking forward to working to develop a new and exciting product to bring to market.”
Jack Mathieson, J.Mathieson@napier.ac.uk, 0131 455 6251