UK R&D CASE STUDY: Construction

A company created a cladding system which had the appearance of ‘normal’ brickwork but incorporated the capacity for off-site fabrication, improved fire protection and suitability to fast-track production.

Mechanical fixing rather than wet mortar provided strength and durability, which together with the capacity to construct in all weather conditions provided significant cost savings.

The uncertainty of the materials in the cladding system and the technological uncertainties surrounding fixing were qualifying R&D projects. The technological uncertainties surrounding the mechanisms to achieve this had to be overcome before the concept proved viable, making this a qualifying project.

A further example of innovation is a company which used wood as part of a project. Traditionally the wood needed to be of a certain age but the company was able to modify a coating so that younger and cheaper wood could be used while still having the required qualities.

Significantly this development was a small element of an overall conventional project. Only after discussion with the site foreman did the company directors realize that the modification and application of the coating qualified for R&D relief. Another company specialized in constructing laboratories.

To combat contamination the company designed some new buildings with removable sections. Exterior walls could be slid away and a unit could be removed in total and replaced by a new unit before the exterior walls were slid back into place.


Source: CRA (Canada Revenue Agency)


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