As a world-leading firm of engineering designers and architects, what sets Newtecnic apart from the rest is their focus on designing and implementing innovative envelope systems for buildings of complex geometry. This helps the business deliver on large-scale and complex buildings for clients who wish for the future to be reflected in the built environment.
Indeed, building for the future has always been a priority for Newtecnic, and so the development of a single technology for building envelopes of complex shape has taken precedence as a key research task. This innovation is squarely aimed at extending design life and reducing costs.
What Newtecnic has successfully done is devise an innovative wall-and-roof panel system comprising of current technologies, combined to create a new technology. The innovation brought together five different types of technologies which were adapted and developed from applications which were not related. Physical prototypes were then fabricated and structurally tested.
In all its projects, Newtecnic is using its innovations to increase cost-efficiency by halving the expense of a comparable building envelope system for wall, roof and supporting structure, in accordance with its business vision. In addition, Newtecnic is doubling the life span of the envelope, from 25-30 years to 50-60 years.
The result is that the cost of longer-life systems is 75 per cent of the cost of a comparable envelope system. To identify some of examples of this being put into practice, four of Newtecnic’s example projects, namely the Grand Theatre Rabat, KCTV Tower, KAFD Hub and MXH Centre, Changsha, have saved a combined amount of approximately £129 million in building expenditure.
As well as cutting down on cost and upping design lifespan, Newtecnic is looking ahead in its other research and development activities. One of the business’ key projects is exploring the engineering design principles needed to put together a ground-based replica of an iconic space vehicle. Newtecnic spent a year developing the technology required to build the replica, and the large, complex scale of the form has demanded the development of existing building technologies beyond their current applications. All in all, this means that Newtecnic will continue to push the boundaries of existing technologies to make their potential truly limitless.
Speaking to The Parliamentary Review, Newtecnic CEO Andrew Watts explained that Newtecnic’s advancements in the industry would be used to help design and build a new generation of high-performance, low-energy buildings, with the firm sharing its knowledge through journal papers and educational resources.
“As a result of our R&D activities, Newtecnic is able to combine an engineering design aesthetic with its own engineering technologies for the design and construction of a new generation of buildings. This method is made possible by prototyping and testing, and we conduct physical testing of building assembly prototypes at the Cambridge University Engineering Department.
“In addition to university textbooks, new knowledge created by Newtecnic is shared through journal papers written by the company, while also commercialising the R&D outputs as façade systems for fabrication in the UK and abroad.”