Wall-crawling robots and AI carbon metrics: the COINS Grand Challenge shortlist

HausBot, the wall-crawling robot, and AI-powered construction metrics are among the innovations to feature on the COINS Grand Challenge 2022 shortlist.

The COINS Grand Challenge is a global competition to discover students, innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders with ideas that can improve the built environment.

The open competition section features a six-strong shortlist:

  • Jack Cornes, the co-founder of HausBots, with the wall-climbing robot designed for the inspection and maintenance of the built environment. This will increase safety, reduce cost and speed up work at height.
  • Isabelle Gough, with London-based Cercula, an automated access point for construction carbon data.
  • Estonia-based Tarvo Kärgenberg with click-on Solarstone, a pioneering design that transforms standard PV panels into a two-in-one weather-proof roofing material.
  • US construction life safety consultant Sharron Halpert with for her bespoke firestop solutions for mass timber construction.
  • Kristijan Nelkovski of North Macedonia with a system for fast energy-efficient modular construction.
  • Australia-based Peter Neil of HAUS Technologies, with ZEBE, a sustainable high-performance building system, driven by digital manufacturing technology.

The student competition section shortlist features four entries:

  • Edwin Nsoh Awariyah, a student at Ashesi University in Ghana, with a safer, melamine-free alternative for water-proofing concrete.
  • Nathan Chen from New Zealand, currently studying at the University of Pennsylvania in the USA, with an idea for ‘Passive Daytime Radiative Cooling’ materials that are designed to cool urban spaces without excess energy consumption or emission of harmful chemicals.
  • Subarna Sivashanmugam, a student at Teesside University, with a digital platform to optimise building circularity through semantic integration of BIM and LCA databases, enabling the supply chain to measure and manage life-cycle emissions.
  • Malaysian student Lai Jun Tung with an idea for food waste interlocking concrete with cladding.

The final judging will take place in October in Birmingham, where the finalists will present their ideas to a panel of judges that includes representatives from Barratt and Overbury. The finalists have the opportunity to be awarded up to £100,000 in prizes.

COINS CEO Robert Brown said: “It’s great see such a wide variety of ideas aiming to improve construction sustainability, efficiency and safety shortlisted for this year’s COINS Grand Challenge. 

“We are very proud to see the challenge go from strength to strength and hope that all the finalists go on to pursue a career in construction whether they win the competition or not.”

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