The construction sector represents typically 8% of the GDP of industrialised nations. All organisations need to be focused on delivering reliable buildings and products which are as sustainable as possible and cost-effective through life. The drive for energy-efficient buildings and products has never been greater.
Indeed, as the extent of in-service carbon reduces, there is a greater attention being given to embodied energy within buildings and products. A decade ago there was little interest in the energy requirements to fabricate buildings. Now things are different: more and more companies are not only interested in the fabrication stage, but also issues concerned with how the products can be disassembled and recycled or used again. The interest is not in cradle-to-grave, but in cradle-to-cradle.
Clients therefore value TWI's multi-disciplinary skills in:
- Joining technologies for a range of materials, including dissimilar materials, metals, composites and plastics.
- Insulating materials, including working with key industry players to develop innovative approaches to energy saving
- Structural integrity of steel and other metallic structures, composites, and the mitigation of fatigue and fracture
- Inspection and condition monitoring, including non-destructive testing (NDT), health monitoring and sensing
- Advanced materials and coatings, including photovoltaics (PV) and flexible PV, multi-functional coatings (such as coatings which are both abrasion resistant and hydrophobic), and mitigation of corrosion
- Risk-based asset management and life cycle extension
- Repair and reuse
- Reliability engineering for mechanical and electronic sub-assemblies
- Disassembly techniques
- Creating more sustainable solutions
Examples of activities include:
- Paint-like coatings for improved passive thermal management
- Environmentally friendly coatings to protect wood from the external environment
- Design and fabrication of integrated PVs with good reliability
- Compact and high-efficiency heat exchangers.
Many of TWI's Members involved in the modern built environment are seeking innovations that can be adapted from other industry sectors. TWI's experience and knowledge across many sectors, not least aerospace and oil and gas, has proved valuable.
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