Build Magazine July 2015

Build Magazine 10 iBuild Skanska has been awarded over £700,000 to de- velop robots for on-site and off-site construction. Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council awarded Skanska with the funding as part of their collaborative research and development program. The Sweden based engineering firm will use the money to continue their research into ‘Flying factories’. Skanska is the head of a consortium which is creating the technology, which will allow structures to be built in controlled conditions separate to the construction site. This removes various hazards from the process, such as the potential effects of bad weather and other on-site issues, which speeds up the assembly of the building on site. The full value of the grant is £709,000, which will allow the project, entitled Flexible Robotic Assem- bly Modules for the Built Environment, to scope out the opportunities for automation and develop robotic applications, building on a suite of Skans- ka initiatives that are transforming productivity in the construction industry. The project will begin in the fourth quarter of this year. Skanska’s Head of Innovation, Sam Stacey, commented that the grant was a big step forward for construction robotics. ‘We are delighted to have been awarded this grant. Robotics in construction is an unknown field and provides great opportunities. A robot to drill and fix to the underside of slabs, for example, would eliminate a lot of work at height in dusty, noisy environments.’ Skanska’s partners in the project are: ABB Robot- ics, The Building Research Establishment, Tekla UK (software), Lean consultants Exelin and the University of Reading. Stacey added that the partnerships were key to the project. ‘This approach, of collaboration with experts from a range of industries, is bringing to construction the levels of quality and cost reduction experi- enced sectors such as automotive. Our relation- ship with ABB has been established through the 3D concrete printing project and, in Sweden, with robot solutions for civil works; Exelin is a partner on flying factories.’ Construction completed on 100 MW AC utility-scale solar farm in Ontario creates largest working site in Canada. Canadian Solar Inc. one of the world’s largest solar power companies, has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Canadian Solar Solutions Inc., reached substantial completion on its 100 MW AC (133 MW DC) utility-scale Grand Renewable Solar Project (“GRS”). This project, located in the county of Haldimand, consists of approximately 445,000 CS6X MaxPower high-performance Ontario-made modules, and carries the proud distinction of being the largest operational solar farm in the nation. Canadian Solar provided Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (“EPC”) services for the Project, which is jointly owned by Samsung Renewable Energy Inc., Connor, Clark & Lunn Infrastructure, and Six Nations of the Grand River. The environmental and economic benefits from this solar farm are significant. Not only is GRS expected to produce approximately 170,000 MWh of electric- ity per year, the solar energy will power approxi- mately 17,000 homes and displace approximately 162,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the 20-year period of the power purchase agreement with the IESO. At the peak of construc- tion, approximately 450 local jobs were created, averaging out to about 240 local construction jobs over the building period. Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar, commented, “The completion of this utility-scale solar farm, the largest operational one in Canada, is a culmination of three years of strategic business planning, coor- dinated efforts, and tenacious work on the part of Canadian Solar. We are extremely excited to see this project come to fruition, especially given the solar farm’s substantial economic and environ- mental benefits for Canada.” Mega Wattage