Composites for Construction & Infrastructure

The world’s infrastructure needs to be fit for the future so that we are ready for the energy transition to a low carbon future. Our buildings, transport systems, power supplies and communication networks need to be more reliable for the increasing capacity that is expected for future generations.

The UN has highlighted that 70% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from urban areas. The homes and buildings in which we live and work need to be warmer and more energy efficient, longer lasting and maintenance free. They also need to be safe for many future generations, free from fumes and well ventilated, and cheaper and faster to construct from low environmental impact materials.

Composites can provide solutions to many of these challenges where our existing building materials and methods are falling short.

 

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Longer life and low maintenance infrastructure

Read more about Longer life and low maintenance infrastructure

Longer life and low maintenance infrastructure

Composites can be tailored to their specific application. For those where very long life is needed, we can use matrices and fibres that will stand the test of time in even the harshest of environments – from arctic to equator and desert to the bottom of the ocean.

More efficient homes & buildings with reduced carbon impact

Read more about More efficient homes & buildings with reduced carbon impact

More efficient homes & buildings with reduced carbon impact

Composite materials can be designed to have very low thermal conductivity yet immense strength. This gives them an advantage over traditional building materials. For example, metal structural elements that create cold bridges can be replaced with composite alternatives, increasing the efficiency of the building. This can extend life, leading to huge energy savings and a much lower total full-life Global Warming Potential (GWP).

Low impact construction methods and materials

Read more about Low impact construction methods and materials

Low impact construction methods and materials

Existing construction materials can be very energy intensive in their manufacture, difficult to transport and hard to handle onsite. This leads to buildings and infrastructure with high embodied energy. Careful selection of the right composite material can lead to reduced embodied carbon, while the lightweight structure is less intrusive and faster to install, reducing the impact on natural environments.

Modular off-site construction

The construction industry is revolutionising the way it works, moving more towards a manufacturing approach where homes, buildings and even bridges are being built in factories rather than construction sites. They are then relocated to their final installation site. This off-site methodology brings much tighter controls, efficient, lean manufacturing methods and results in better buildings that are deployed faster, giving a faster return on investme

Major programmes

  • Read more about Seismic II

    Seismic II

    Working on the future of construction of schools, and how the use of composites will reduce waste, cost and carbon dioxide emissions while increasing speed of delivery.

  • Read more about Bridge of the future

    Bridge of the future

    The High Value Manufacturing Catapult has created the ‘Bridge of the future programme’ to address some of the key challenges in the way that we design, build and maintain UK road bridges in a more sustainable way.

News and Events

  • National Composites Centre
    Read more about Immersive Design Collaboration

    Immersive Design Collaboration

    10 Feb 2022
    The NCC and AREA will be holding an inaugural Immersive Design Collaboration event, taking place at the NCC. This is an opportunity to experience the latest technology from leading AR and VR providers, where delegates will learn how to incorporate different CAD model formats into an immersive design session and how to review, change, and sign off a design task using the latest AR and VR tools.

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