Clean air management and safer formwork pouring are among the innovations shortlisted for the 2021 COINS Grand Challenge, the global competition organised by Construction Industry Solutions Ltd (COINS).
The Grand Challenge has two categories: the open competition for professionals; and the student competition for undergraduates.
Open competition finalists
Amatec: allows gypsum to be the main building material instead of concrete, ceramics, steel and wood.
Daisy: Design AI Systems (Daisy) allows structural engineers and architects to find the optimal, production-ready and code-compliant timber design with a click of a button.
Loadtag: from Trent Energy, this monitors live loads on formwork during concrete pouring to help prevent overloading and potentially catastrophic failure.
Mykor: a custom-engineered insulation made with forestry waste and fungi that is carbon-negative and feels and performs like foam. It is said to be beneficial for those needing to comply with embodied and operational carbon regulations.
WeavAir: data-driven, predictive software for air distribution systems that prevents the spread of contamination and infection, while reducing operational and maintenance costs.
XtraHand: from DrillBuddy UK, this is a universal, hands-free vacuum attachment that works with all drill bit types on all flat surfaces to remove airborne dust particles along with any larger debris when drilling holes.
Student competition finalists
Self-healing bacteria concrete from Abhishek Kumar Patra, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, India: limestone-producing bacterial spores are activated when cracks form, exposing the spores to air and moisture. The bacteria consume calcium acetate and produce limestone crystals that fill the crack.
AI supply chain management from Mufaro Gomera at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa: an AI- and Blockchain-powered platform that targets supply chain inefficiencies in procurement, logistics and back-office activities. It automates virtually every supply chain function, including demand forecasting, product procurement, scheduling carrier logistics, invoicing and driver dispatching.
Inflatable safety jacket from Chalana Gunathilaka at the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology: a sensor automatically inflates the jacket in a fall from a height to protect the spinal cord and other body parts from severe injuries.
Algorithmic site energy management from Arvianto Nugroho, Sepuluh Nopember at the Institute of Technology, Indonesia: a system to manage energy consumption during construction and operation of buildings based on real-time price fluctuations to increase efficiency and reduce electricity bills.
Plastic reactor from Roshan M Naik at Goa University, India: decentralised waste management using a reactor system to convert plastic into energy.
Instant emergency response from Rohan Ghosalkar at the VES Institute of Technology, India, and Deepti Shetty at the National Institute of Design, India: Averto is a low-cost IoT-based device for minimising the danger of life-threatening injuries caused by falls or collapsing scaffoldings. It uses machine learning to detect an incident even before it occurs.
COINS chief executive Robert Brown said: “Every year the number and quality of entries for the Grand Challenge gets stronger and stronger. It’s great to see the level of interest in new and emerging technology in the construction industry continue to grow.”
The winners of both competitions will be announced on 30 September.