Bacteria Based Concrete Insulation Made from Fungi & Automated Design Tools Make the Shortlist for Construction Innovation Competition

Ideas to improve the construction industry have flooded in from all over the world for the 2021 COINS Grand Challenge, a global competition organised by Construction Industry Solutions Ltd (COINS) to encourage innovation and ideas that could improve the built environment or construction industry.

The shortlist has now been announced, with 12 finalists hailing from Sri Lanka, India, Russia, UK, Canada, Indonesia and Zimbabwe – read more at the website. Ideas range from innovative insulation materials made from fungi to bacteria based concrete and automated structural design solutions for timber buildings.

The challenge has two entry categories, professional (Open Competition) and student (Undergraduate Competition).

Open Competition finalists are:

  • Natalia Mykhaylova (CEO – WeavAir) with a data-driven IoT & predictive software system for improving wellness, safety and energy efficiency during construction & across the building lifecycle
  • Mario Selvaraj (Co-Founder / Head of Product – DAISY) with DAISY, an innovative automated tool for the structural design of timber buildings
  • Valentina Dipietro (Founder – Mykor Ltd) with Mykor, an insulation material grown from forest waste and fungi
  • Kaz Hayat (Managing Director – Trent Energy Limited) with Loadtag, a SMART device that will monitor live loads on formwork during concrete pouring to help prevent overloading and potentially catastrophic failure
  • Igor Stavrulov (CEO & Founder – AMATEC LLC) with technology for producing building materials from high-density gypsum.
  • Alan Gillett (Director – DrillBuddy UK Ltd) with XtraHand, a universal hands-free vacuum attachment that removes dangerous airborne dust particles when drilling holes.

Student competition finalists are:

  • Abhishek Kumar Patra (Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra) with an idea for a bacteria-based concrete utilising limestone-producing bacterial spores.
  • Mufaro Gomera (University of the Witwatersrand) with an idea for a platform powered by artificial intelligence that eliminates costly supply chain inefficiencies in procurement, logistics, and back-office activities.
  • Chalana Gunathilaka (Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology) developed an automatic inflatable safety jacket.
  • Arvianto Nugroho (Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology) with a system to manage energy consumption during the construction and operation of a building.
  • Roshan Naik (Goa University) with a concept for a reactor system that will convert plastic into energy.
  • Rohan Ghosalkar and Deepti Shetty (V.E.S. Institute of Technology, Chembur; National Institute of Design, Kurukshetra, India) with Averto, an IoT-based solution for minimising and mitigating the danger of life-threatening injuries caused by incidents involving falls or collapsing scaffoldings.

Robert Brown, CEO of COINS, who has played a major role in the COINS Grand Challenge, comments: ‘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. 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.’

The judging panel includes:

  • Mark Beard / Chairman & Chief Executive – E W Beard (Holdings) Ltd
  • Susan Jackson / Joint Managing Director – Campion Homes Limited
  • Stuart Binstock / President and CEO – Construction Financial Management Association
  • Kevin Lasitz / Senior Partner Development Manager, Microsoft

The COINS Grand Challenge winners will be announced on 30th September. For more details, visit the website.