Elegant creases, interlooping yarns and stitch patterns; these are not just elements of a finely crafted garment but the poetic design language of Dutch design practice, the Studio RAP’s Ceramic House. In the world of architecture, the façade is the face of the building. Nestled in the heart of Amsterdam’s P.C. Hoofstraat, this boutique design transcends conventional norms and becomes a canvas, creating an organic, wave-like poetry. Far beyond a static exterior, this façade is a living testament to the delicate dance of form and function. It seamlessly blends tradition with innovation, not merely as a visual spectacle but as a tactile and immersive experience, inviting onlookers into a world where architecture becomes an art form.

In the genesis of the Ceramic House, the studio received a concise yet ambitious design brief from a client renowned for iconic architectural creations. Tasked with adorning Amsterdam’s shopping street with a unique boutique façade, the challenge was clear: conceive a retail design that transcends the ordinary. To meet this, the studio delved into the unexplored, seeking inspiration not from conventional architectural norms but from the world of knitwear.

The studio was in the midst of experimenting with 3D printing ceramic tiles for a previous project, New Delft Blue, when the idea of a façade entirely clad in 3D-printed ceramic tiles took shape. The result was the Ceramic House, an architectural masterpiece inspired by the artistry of knitting.

Amsterdam, with its cobbled stone streets and historic canals, is an architectural tapestry that weaves together the past and the present. Amidst this, the house stands as a distinct thread, weaving its own narrative. The key to the success of this project lies in its harmonious integration with the surroundings. Studio RAP meticulously replicated the silhouette of the original façade, maintaining the tripartite structure of the street. Expressive at ground level, the façade transforms as it ascends, synchronising with the surrounding structures. Architectural elements like rowlock arches and cross-bond brickwork echo the neighbouring buildings but with a contemporary twist. The connection of flushes between the new and adjacent facades, achieved through 3D scanning, showcases a commitment to precision, ensuring that the house stands as a luxury boutique seamlessly blending with its historical environment.

Digital design algorithms, a language of their own, become the brushes in Studio RAP’s hands. The Ceramic House explores the reinterpretation of glazed ceramics, infusing the historical city of Amsterdam with a new design vocabulary. The scale, size, type, and colour of the ornaments and materials are all carefully synced with the neighbouring buildings to allow a seamless integration of traditional and contemporary architecture. The façade’s intricate layers, inspired by textiles, mimic the elegance of creases and stitch patterns. An organic, wave-like quality unfolds as viewers approach, unveiling new elements within the bespoke 3D-printed ceramic tiles. This is not just architecture, it is a symphony of algorithmic design and historical resonance.

With inspiration drawn from the rich ceramic collection of the Rijksmuseum, the national museum of The Netherlands, the studio pioneers large-scale 3D printing technology. This isn’t merely printing tiles; it is an art form where architects collaborate seamlessly with advanced robotic systems. The result is highly differentiated and algorithmically designed details, showcasing a commitment to pushing the boundaries of architectural design.

The significance of using these innovative technologies lies in the studio’s vision to enrich the world with a new architectural language. Breaking barriers, they utilise 3D printing to gain unprecedented control over design, expression and precision. It is not just about industry digitisation; it is about preserving the cherished qualities of artisanal craftsmanship. Collaborating with Royal Tichelaar, one of the oldest companies in The Netherlands for ceramics and glazes, adds a touch of tradition to this technological partnership.

At street level, the house beckons with large 3D-printed ceramic tiles glazed in pearl white, subtly touched with yellow by Royal Tichelaar. Visually expressive at eye level, these tiles transition gracefully to a flush alignment with the ground, creating a harmonious aesthetic. Ascending higher, the façade unfolds another layer, showcasing 3D-printed bricks glazed in three shades of red. The abstract ornamentation dances with the original masonry cross bond, housed within the laser-cut stainless-steel cassettes, a nod to historical flushes.

For Studio RAP, 3D printing and algorithmic design aren’t just tools; they are the essence of the Ceramic House’s identity. Drawing inspiration from the art of knitwear, these strategies amplify the intricate layers of the façade design. There is a fascinating parallel between traditional knitting patterns and the tiles; both following conceptual instructions. The result is what the studio calls the “pearl-stitch”, a unique architectural expression merging historical ceramics with the allure of knitwear-inspired details. It is not just a building, it is a conversation between traditional architecture and the avant-garde.

As visitors approach the Ceramic House, a layered experience unfolds. From a distance, it seamlessly blends with the legacy of the street. Come closer, the undulating façade sparks curiosity, and the pearl stitch pattern emerges. Opening the door is an invitation to feel the texture, a tactile exploration of bespoke details. Each unique tile ensures that every visit unveils a new detail, creating a timeless and layered experience. It is not just a façade; it is an immersive journey through layers of innovation and tradition.

The Ceramic House isn’t an isolated project; it is a concrete manifestation of Studio RAP’s broader vision. Situated in Rotterdam, the team redefines the traditional role of architects. They aren’t just architects, they are entrepreneurs, craftsmen and innovators. The studio challenges conventions, injecting greater excitement and diversity into the world through innovative design.

In the words of the studio, “The Ceramic House project reshapes architectural expression by seamlessly blending tradition and innovation, reintroducing bespoke details to architecture. It’s more reshaping; it’s a revolution that challenges the status quo and presents a fresh architectural style. The project is a testament to the Studio RAP’s commitment to infuse the world with greater excitement and diversity through architectural innovation.”

Studio RAP isn’t just an architectural design company; it is a harbinger of change, challenging conventional ways of building. With architects, designers, roboticists, programmers and researchers collaborating in an industrial atmosphere surrounded by robots in Rotterdam, the studio embarks on a hands-on approach to solving problems in the building industry. Studio RAP doesn’t just create expressive buildings, it reimagines the entire architectural profession, embracing innovation as the cornerstone of its practice.



The Ceramic House stands not just as a building but as a testament to the marriage of tradition and innovation. As we trace the undulating façade and feel the tactile allure of each bespoke tile, we are invited into a realm where architecture becomes an immersive journey. Beyond its physical form, the house embodies a question: What other uncharted territories can façade design explore? Studio RAP’s revolution extends beyond a single, prompting us to ponder the possibilities that lie ahead in the dynamic tapestry of architectural innovation.

Source: Stir

A dormitory at a military facility, which was built utilizing the new system
Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology


Efficient construction system stacks self-contained modules like Legos

Erecting an entire building from scratch at the construction site can be time-consuming and expensive, which is why many companies look to factory-built prefabricated structures. A new technology takes that idea further, with prefab blocks that are stacked like Lego blocks.

The modular system was developed at the Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology, by a team led by Dr. Seok-Ho Lim and Dr. Joon-Soo Chung. It incorporates shipping-container-shaped “blocks” that serve as single rooms of a larger overall building.

Each of these blocks consists of two parts. There’s an infill module – which includes the inner walls, inner floor and ceiling – along with an open-topped “PC module,” which consists of two load-bearing exterior side walls and a load-bearing exterior floor.

Modules of both types are transported to the construction site, where a crane is used to lower the infill modules into their corresponding PC modules, thus forming the self-contained blocks. That same crane then hoists each of those blocks into place on a concrete pad, stacking them one on top of another as dictated by the building plan.

In a final step, a roof, stairs and block-connecting corridors are added to complete the structure. All told, the blocks account for 70 to 80% of the whole building.

Not only is the onsite assembly process reportedly much less time-consuming and labor-intensive than traditional building methods, it’s also claimed to generate less noise, dust and waste. Additionally, when the building is no longer needed, the individual blocks can be retrieved and used in other projects.

The Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport recently announced its plans to use the system for the construction of rental houses within the Seoul metropolitan area and in new outlying towns.

“The developed modular construction method will offer effective solutions for addressing environmental issues in the construction industry and housing shortages,” said Dr. Lim. “This technology significantly reduces construction costs and diminishes the need for a large portion of onsite operations, resulting in shorter construction periods compared to conventional concrete construction methods.”

Source: New Atlas


  Images: Måns Berg


In the southern Swedish city of Uppsala, stormwater pond Exercisfältet designed by Scandinavian firm White Arkitekter hopes “to protect nature from the city’s polluted water and to protect the city from flooding as a result of reduced infiltration and climate change.” The development is the result of an ambition to turn a technical facility into a place for people. A meandering bridge elevated above the pond situates a continuous south-facing seating for the public, whereas the curving stretch pulls those who cherish a serene walk along the water. The platform is also an incredible lookout spot for locals as it captures views of the urban habitation on one side, and water and vegetation on the other.

The project encapsulates climate resilience through a strong combination of infrastructure and landscape design. Keeping the city and its people’s well-being at the centre, White Arkitekter delivers a place of equal necessity and value in the urban scheme of things. With offices in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and the UK, the firm’s portfolio covers sustainable architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, and interior design. The firm, with its ecological approach to the building art, upholds the vision of seeing all its architecture become carbon neutral by 2030 through design excellence. Wooden architecture, a specialisation of the firm, was recently seen in the design of a timber-framed office building in Gothenburg, a 20-storey timber hotel, museum and theatre in Skellefteå, and the upcoming Stockholm Wood City, conceived in collaboration with Henning Larsen.

The pond comes along as a technical requisite to the urban demands. “In the wake of the so-called Weser ruling by the European Court of Justice,” states White Arkitekter, “cities are being asked to clean dirty water from roads and houses before it is discharged into the environment.” The stormwater pond commissioned to the firm by Uppsala Municipality and Uppsala Vatten acts in response to this notion, in addition to reinforcing nature in its scheme and making it a people’s place to socialise and connect with their neighbourhood. “The fact that this was also to be done in a sensitive cultural environment made the task complex. It is very gratifying to see how people have now taken it to their hearts, a proof that we have succeeded,” says Charlotta Råsmark, lead landscape architect at White Arkitekter.

The pond creates an open-ended connection with its place. Around the facility, generous spaces and paths tread along the water, allowing the beauty of the landscape to spill farther. A robust flood protection system comes together in the form of a concrete wall barrier that follows the lines of the block division, and further features a sharp edge of the pond closer to the city. The location of the pond at a low-lying terrain ensures it renders a discreet presence without disturbing the landscape, its cultural and historical values, as per the architects.

The vegetation within and around the pond has been adapted to suit the natural features of the site. A series of species that are both hardy and have water purifying properties have been included in the landscape scheme. “The various parts of the pond are flooded by different amounts of rainfall and have great potential to develop into a good habitat for many different animals and plants,” White Arkitekter states. The architects anticipate that the development along the pond shall continue to evolve and move closer to the edge, ensuring more life and activity will engulf the space, realising the overarching ambition that drove the design. The pond, beyond its ecological goal, is conceptualised as an engaging interface that ties the urban habitation and open landscape. The stormwater pond also articulates the need of innovative landscape interventions in urban microcosms as nature harbingers and people-pullers.


Source: Stir


War in Ukraine has had a significant human cost, with thousands of lives lost and millions of other people displaced due to the conflict. The country’s-built environment also bears the scars of the conflict and is currently the world’s largest construction site.

Homes, industrial facilities, and major infrastructure have been damaged or destroyed, with the cost of recovery over the longer-term likely to exceed $1 trillion: an international effort – pooling finance, skills, innovative processes and technology – is already underway to help Ukraine build back better.

For Ukraine’s government, its international partners, and global businesses, the reconstruction of Ukraine offers a significant opportunity to not only rebuild the infrastructure of Ukraine but to build back better and to reimagine the way in which infrastructure is designed and delivered to help modernise the Ukrainian economy.

The scale of destruction and cost of rebuild

A joint assessment by the World Bank, government of Ukraine, EU, UN, and Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) estimates the reconstruction and recovery needs of Ukraine over the next 10 years to be $411 billion – some 2.6 times the size of Ukraine’s GDP in 2022. This assessment accounts for surge pricing and building back better with investments in government-prioritised sectors for 2023 of $14 billion.

The estimate set out in the rapid damage and needs assessment (RDNA2), however, does not include the cost of reconstruction of buildings, facilities and infrastructure damaged or destroyed since the date of assessment on 24 February 2023 – such as the destruction of the Kakhovka dam on the Dnieper river and subsequent downstream flooding.

The eventual cost of reconstruction and building back better in nominal terms for such a colossal undertaking is likely, in our view, to be $1 trillion over many decades.

The quality of Ukraine’s existing infrastructure, as ranked by the World Economic Forum prior to the conflict, was relatively poor, at 57 out of 141 countries. Significant improvement and investment in Ukraine’s infrastructure will be needed to bring it up to the standard of EU countries, with Ukraine’s prospective membership of the trade bloc now seemingly on an accelerated path.

The RDNA2 provides an insight into where the most damage has occurred. Housing, for example, is estimated to have sustained the greatest damage at $50 billion, followed by transport at $36 billion. Damage to energy and extractives infrastructure is estimated at $11 billion.

In total, damage to Ukraine’s infrastructure and physical assets in the first year of the war to 24 February 2023 is estimated to have reached $135 billion and accounts for around 25% currency devaluation. Damage to infrastructure and physical assets is calculated using standard methodology and at 2021 replacement prices.

Total economic, social and other monetary losses are estimated at $290 billion.

According to the RDNA2, the cost of overall reconstruction and recovery will involve $92.1 billion being spent on transport infrastructure, $68.6 billion on housing, and $47 billion on energy and extractives infrastructure over the next 10 years. A total of $37.6 billion has been set aside for explosive hazard management.

The road to recovery

The scale of investment needed for Ukraine’s reconstruction is substantial and will require leveraging public and international donor financing together with a significant amount of private investment. It will also require a considerable mobilisation of engineering design, legal, financial and contracting capability from across the world.

Spending on construction in Ukraine has been recovering in 2023 from historic lows in 2022 but will take time to recover to pre-war levels – those levels had been driven up by spending on construction following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, with the rate of growth in the three-year period after 2014 particularly high.

The private sector plays a much more significant role in Ukraine’s economy than the public sector, accounting for up to 70% of total output. Private sector investment will therefore be critical to reconstruction. The state has a large involvement in both transport and energy sectors. However, a stronger public-private partnership (PPP) framework is needed to enable much greater private participation in infrastructure. Significant policy intervention is needed to support private financing and to mitigate and cover investment and delivery risk.

There are other significant market and institutional constraints that will make building back better challenging. For example, more than eight million Ukrainians have been displaced across Europe, which means that in the local labour market there is a shortage of the availability of contractors for undertaking repairs and reconstruction. There is also a shortage of available materials and manufacturing capacity. Insurance and guarantees to help protect private sector investment also need to be put in place, while reforms will be necessary to planning processes and local government institutional capacity will need to be strengthened as a priority too.

Notwithstanding the challenges that lie ahead, governments around the world and the international business community are already lining up to help.

For example, US company Bechtel has signed a memorandum of understanding with Ukraine’s State Agency for Restoration and Infrastructure Development on a national program that priorities key infrastructure corridors and AECOM will provide program management and technical advisory support, while the Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT), Korail, and Korean National Railway (KNR) signed a memorandum of understanding to help rebuild Ukraine’s railway infrastructure and build a new high speed railway to link Ukraine with Poland

Pinsent Masons met with the Ukrainian State Agency for Restoration and Infrastructure Development and, together with Atkins Realis, Mace and Costain, produced a playbook called Reimagining Ukraine to set out how the UK professional services sector can help Ukraine rebuild its shattered infrastructure and build back better

What building back better in Ukraine might look like

Building back better in Ukraine will be a multi-faceted mega project, in infrastructure and economic terms. It will require a combination of political will, international finance, and the combined expertise of businesses from all around the world.

The size and scale of the task in Ukraine is so large and complex that it requires high-level collaboration. Lessons can be learned from giga projects in Saudi Arabia and large-scale programmes such as the Reconstruction with Changes Programme in Peru, which have shown that it is essential to coordinate programmes of infrastructure and buildings and to set up a program delivery partner organisation that can set the strategy for the procurement and delivery of many thousands of projects.

However, at Pinsent Masons, we consider that there will be a wide range of other critical components to not only restoring Ukraine to what it had pre-conflict, but to helping the country rebuild its built environment and wider economy.

PPP and innovative private financing models

The huge need for private investment will require much greater use of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in key infrastructure sectors – principally transport and energy. This will be particularly relevant if Ukraine is to connect to an extended Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) which is a network of roads, railways, airports and water infrastructure in the EU.

Insurance and guarantees

The lack of available insurance is currently a major barrier preventing companies trading with and investing in Ukraine to help it rebuild. For its part, the UK signed a war-risk insurance statement of intent with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on 31 October 2023 to help UK companies to do business in Ukraine. The EBRD scheme will provide new support for boosting the provision of insurance against war related risks in Ukraine.

Investors looking to invest in reconstruction in Ukraine will also want to ensure that their investments are protected against political risks. This could include nationalisation, restrictions on capital transfer, government intervention, withdrawal of permits or future changes of policy by the government of Ukraine. Protection against political risk will be important as the state plays a more prominent role in commercial relations in Ukraine than many other Western countries. Sophisticated investors protect their business interests against political risk through bilateral investment treaties (BITs) or multilateral investment treaties. BIT arbitration is a powerful means of holding host nations accountable.

Land use and planning

Land use and planning underpin most physical aspects of an economy. Identifying how Ukraine’s land resources can be better used to support the country’s recovery is a fundamental issue affecting development. Consideration must be given to how land has been and is currently owned and occupied in Ukraine.

Understanding ownership under the Soviet system is also important. It wasn’t until the collapse of Soviet Russia that land began to be privatised – up until then all land resources belonged to the state. Thought needs to be given to any remaining legacy issues and to whether there are opportunities for more equitable distribution of land during the reconstruction process.

Procurement and contracting strategies

Procurement and contracting strategies for construction will need to be developed to deal with the need for speed as well as compliance with regulatory frameworks – but most importantly, a significant amount of innovation will be needed, which will need the careful development of contractual frameworks. Procurement processes must meet the highest standards of openness, fairness, and transparency.

Delivery of a complex programme of infrastructure needs high levels of collaborative working and a real understanding of how to manage alliances which need to handle and manage large amounts of innovative work that embraces net zero and the use of modern methods of construction. Project 13 is an example of an approach to collaborative working that has worked in the UK. It relies on an enterprise model where all project parties, including the commissioning client, are a part of the enterprise. This model is supported by NEC multi-party contracts and other collaborative contracting strategies.

Joint ventures

The development and use of joint ventures for major infrastructure programmes – and the structuring of those JVs – will be essential to success in delivery.

Bringing together JVs of the best capability to deliver complex and large-scale infrastructure requires a wide range of key considerations and to ensure that JVs have the best opportunity to perform. Bringing together the best capabilities and enabling technologies requires careful structuring to help ensure success.

Managing risk and disputes

With the size and scale of complex infrastructure, there is high potential for disputes which could delay reconstruction efforts in Ukraine.

The potential for a fast-track alternative dispute resolution and arbitration process to be established to aid reconstruction and accelerate the resolution of any issues that emerge is a vital area to examine and develop ideas.

The use of data and technology, as well as smart risk registers, will help avoid disputes, and the use of independent project boards can also accelerate dispute resolution.

Transparency and compliance

Transparency and compliance will be central to achieving success in the reconstruction of Ukraine. Without it, there is a risk of corruption and an associated risk that investors and best-in-class businesses will elect not to be involved in the project.

It will be important to ensure public and private sector organisations, including from supporting partner countries, develop mature systems of governance as part of fair and transparent procurement processes, and that those involved in the delivery of new infrastructure are subject to transparency laws and other regulation to mitigate the risk of corruption.

Industrialised construction

The use of industrialised construction will be essential to the fast-track delivery of high-quality housing and infrastructure.

A number of countries, such as the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia, are already world leaders in the use of modern methods of construction and advanced industrialised construction – and in deploying contractual frameworks that support industrialised construction and make modern methods of construction work.

The use of mass industrialised construction also provides the opportunity to decarbonise and to make a step change in productivity.

Building safety

Contractors from all over the world are likely to be involved in delivering new buildings and infrastructure in Ukraine – bringing with them different approaches to and cultures on building safety.

Importing world class building safety standards into Ukrainian projects can help ensure a uniform approach to reconstruction, which delivers not only safety for workers but also completed assets that are safe to occupy, operate and maintain in the long-term.

Endorsing best practice towards building safety can also be an enabler for other core objectives of reconstruction in Ukraine – including decarbonisation.

Climate change

There is a need to design lower carbon new infrastructure and design, construct, and adapt existing infrastructure to become more resilient to the effects of climate change.

Using an industrialised approach to design and construction, and adopting a regime that promotes building safety, will vastly improve the carbon footprint of Ukraine’s infrastructure – and help modernise Ukraine’s economy at the same time.

Rebuilding industrial production and supply chains

Rebuilding Ukraine’s industrial production capacity, as well as the supply chains and logistics that serve the manufacturing sector, is also of paramount importance.

This is especially important because Ukraine has a large industrial base that manufactures a significant amount of building materials which will be needed in the rebuilding of infrastructure and housing.

Shortened lead times in getting manufacturing facilities established and reimagining an industrialised approach to the production of components and factory-made houses, will be critical.

Agriculture, food and drugs, and associated supply chains

Both the agricultural industry in Ukraine and the pharmaceutical sector support a large workforce and make significant contributions to Ukraine’s exports.

Helping those industries recover will help provide more immediate incomes for Ukraine’s economy to start to become self-sufficient.

Source: Pinsent Masons

THE UK government has announced support for 11 commercial green hydrogen projects which will see more than £400m of private capital invested in the UK green economy.

Among the winners of the UK’s first hydrogen allocation round (HAR1) is EDF’s Tees Green Hydrogen project, which gained support for 5.2 MW of green hydrogen capacity in the North East. In total, the awarded projects will deliver 125 MW of new hydrogen for businesses, with the government granting confirmed suppliers a price guarantee for the clean energy they supply.

In return for government support, the successful projects will invest £413m between 2024 and 2026, which is expected to create around 760 direct jobs during construction and operation.

The government said the projects are the largest number for commercial scale green hydrogen announced at once in Europe. It said it represents “the most significant step in scaling up the UK’s hydrogen economy to date – speeding up progress towards the government’s ambition to deploy up to 10 GW low carbon production capacity by 2030”.

Claire Coutinho, secretary of state for energy security and net zero, highlighted the economic opportunity of hydrogen, saying it will unlock “over 12,000 jobs and up to £11bn of investment by 2030”.

The ‘most significant step’ in scaling UK hydrogen

Lord Callanan, minister for energy efficiency and green finance, said:

“Today’s funding commitment represents a monumental step forward in helping producers to deliver a fuel of the future today, backing businesses to go greener. This will be essential to achieving our net zero targets and will benefit people across the UK with the job and investment opportunities that this funding will bring.”

The government also published a delivery roadmap setting out plans for future allocation rounds, opening a second funding round.

A roadmap for hydrogen production

Published yesterday, the production delivery roadmap sets out how government expects the hydrogen production landscape to evolve towards 2035, and the key opportunities and challenges the UK faces.

The roadmap sets out plans for funding allocation rounds in 2025 and 2026. It plans to boost hydrogen capacity up to 1.5 GW across these rounds, and award funding to projects that will help to deliver up to 4 GW of hydrogen enabled by carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS) – blue hydrogen – as well as 6 GW of green hydrogen by 2030.

The government also acknowledged an important role for production technologies other that CCUS-enabled natural gas reforming and water electrolysis, on the road to scaling up hydrogen in the 2030s. It noted that it has already set out a technology neutral approach to hydrogen approach, encouraging a range of solution so long as they meet the UK’s Low Carbon Hydrogen Standard.

However, it stressed that for other technologies to make a significant contribution in the 2030s “we need to start developing them now”.

The production roadmap comes in response to recommendations made by chair of net zero review, Chris Skidmore, in an independent report published in January. Its recommendations included publishing, by the end of the year, an “ambitious and pragmatic” ten-year delivery roadmap for scaling up hydrogen production, including clear indication of how much capacity it hopes to procure though each future allocation round.

A warm welcome for funding, but money isn’t enough

Clare Jackson, CEO of the trade association Hydrogen UK, said HAR1 and the roadmap were

“important steps forward for the UK’s hydrogen economy”.

She said: “The hydrogen industry welcomes today’s suite of announcements, including the results of HAR1 negotiations that provide crucial support to first mover UK hydrogen projects, and will help kickstart domestic production.”

Ruth Herbert, CEO of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, also welcomed the announcement.

“These are crucial next steps in the journey towards establishing the UK as a world-leading hydrogen economy, in which carbon capture, utilisation, and storage clusters will play an important part,” said Herbert. “We will continue to work closely with government on the design of the business models and further industry developments.”

Meanwhile, Paul Willacy, managing director of waste-to-hydrogen firm Compact Syngas Solutions, said that while the hydrogen investment was a

“massive step in the right direction” the UK needs the correct infrastructure to support supply.

He said: “Large-scale production projects are at risk of becoming white elephants if they aren’t linked to where the hydrogen is needed, and national infrastructure is still ten years behind where it needs to be. The issues caused by a lack of hydrogen infrastructure could be solved by producing and delivering hydrogen gas at a local level.

“Smaller production facilities dotted around the country would negate the need for costly pipelines and should be part of the government’s plans for the coming years.”

Hydrogen blending

The UK government also announced a decision to support hydrogen blending in certain scenarios. Currently, less than 1% of gas in distribution networks is hydrogen. Under proposals, hydrogen could be blended with other gases in the network as a reserve offtaker, reducing costs in the hydrogen sector by helping producers, and supporting the wider energy system.

The UK notes that though blending could help the UK realise its net zero ambitions, it would be limited and temporary as the country moves away from natural gas.

An 800-square-foot home made from three steel shipping containers hit the real estate market last weekend in Sublette County and, based on web traffic generated by the listing, people are intrigued.

Camden Bennett with Pinedale Properties said the recently completed home was under contract for a short time, but the deal fell apart. An open house was held Saturday.

“There’s been a lot of traffic on our website, but there is some doubt that a container home can be desirable,” Bennett said. “Overcoming the lack of knowledge about container homes is the major goal. They can be comfortable, roomy, high-quality and low maintenance.”

Both the realtor and builder are optimistic about the potential for container homes in Wyoming because they can help solve a lot of the state’s construction and housing problems.

The containers are manufactured into homes and home parts in a Quonset hut near Fort Collins, Colorado. They can be hauled and dropped off in remote locations without a crane. Because they are modular, site construction work — including driveway, utility connections, foundation and landscaping — can be underway at the same time the house is being manufactured.

The modular design allows the container homes to be shipped almost anywhere in the world, and the company is looking at projects in Ireland and Alaska.

The home, located in the Barger Subdivision about 10 miles south of Pinedale, is listed at $315,000, or $393.75 per square foot. That may not seem like a bargain to some homebuyers. However, Bennett said because this is a spec home, no expense was spared in outfitting it.

The 2-bedroom, 1 1/2 bathroom home is on a concrete wall foundation with a 5-foot crawl space, is fully furnished, has high-end appliances and cabinets, 9-foot ceilings, vinyl plank floors and low maintenance, long lasting exterior coverings.

And, the property which sits on 1.42 acres, has killer views of the Wind River Mountains.

Plus, public land is less than a quarter mile away with access to Boulder, Burnt, and Meadow Lakes and the greater Bridger-Teton National Forest.

The Man Behind The Concept

“We can build homes all winter long in our shop and have them ready to be set as soon as the ground thaws,” said Jeff Hanesworth, owner of Pivot Structures. “We don’t need as many people as traditional construction requires, so we get nearly twice the productivity by eliminating the waste and inefficiency of traditional construction.”

Hanesworth is an entrepreneur, Pinedale native and real estate developer who has worked as a luxury home builder in Colorado since 2017. He is part owner in a real estate development company and said this new container home venture is his “pivot” away from the luxury home business.

“It’s time for me to get back closer to home,” he said. “This will be my legacy, and it’s been a great opportunity to start a successful business.”

The Process

The number of possible configurations with this style of building is almost limitless.

The home on display in Sublette County is shaped like an H with 40-foot-long containers on either end connected with a 20-foot container in the center that serves as the entryway and passthrough between the larger containers.

There are large pergola-covered patios on both sides of the center section.

Container construction isn’t limited to just homes.

Hanesworth told Cowboy State Daily they build outdoor bars, man caves, mother-in-law apartments, concession stands, coffee kiosks and about anything else their customers can dream up.

He said they’re probably not going to design any conglomerations that include stacking containers four high. They’re “by the book,” when it comes to architecture and sound engineering practices, but they’re wide open for creative design ideas.

“Everything is engineered and architecturally designed,” he said. “There’s a lot of science that goes into using containers for buildings. We only use new ones and we design them so that the structure provides efficiencies.”

A recent Pivot Structures container project can be seen at Pinky Gs Pizzeria in Jackson. It’s a new bar and outdoor entertainment area.

The process begins with new or one-use shipping containers that are 8 feet wide and 9 feet tall. They also haven’t been used to haul hazardous materials. They come in lengths ranging from 10 feet to 40 feet long.

When they are first moved into the shop, the containers get painted and vapor barriers and subfloors are installed. A carpentry method called “firring in” is used to build the walls and ceilings. They attach 2-inch by 2-inch wood wall studs to the steel containers to create an interior skeleton.

Spray foam insulation is used to fill the walls and ceilings, followed by interior wall coverings. The Sublette County home has sheet rock walls, but there are several other choices offered. The walls are rated at R-21 and ceilings at R-25, Bennett said.

The large steel doors on the ends of the containers are generally removed and the opening is stick-framed with two-by-six boards, Hanesworth said.

Attainability Is The Goal

The only work Pivot Structures hires out is the site work, electrical and spray foam insulation. The company’s six employees do the rest. Prices for the smallest structures start in the $10,000 range and the company will cater to do-it-yourselfers who are looking to save a few bucks on construction.

Hanesworth said they’re happy to work with do-it-yourselfers on a budget. Hanesworth’s company will complete the rough framing and utilities, then ship the containers to folks who want to do the rest of the work themselves.

“My goal is to create attainability,” he said. “We want to create wins for consumers and build a product line that continues to be innovative and offer flexibility options for both homes and commercial buildings.”

Source: Cowboy State Daily

THE dome for Hinkley Point C’s first reactor building has been successfully lifted into place. The major milestone closes the roof on the first reactor building, allowing the first nuclear reactor to be installed next year.

The power station’s two nuclear reactors will provide reliable zero-carbon electricity for six million homes, boosting Britain’s energy security for decades to come.

Engineering teams lifted the 245-tonne steel dome precisely into place on top of the reactor building this morning (Friday 15 December). The achievement ends the year on a high as the 14-metre-tall dome sits on top of the 44-metre-high reactor building.

The lift, starting at 07:20, was carefully planned to take advantage of a weather window to allow the hour-and-a-half long manoeuvre to be completed in low wind conditions.

The dome is the top part of the reactor building’s inner containment – a steel cylinder encased in concrete. Measuring 47m in diameter, it is wider than the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral – and made up of 38 prefabricated panels which were shipped to Hinkley Point C and welded together in an onsite factory.  Prefabrication and modular construction are key features of Hinkley Point C’s construction.

Earlier this month, the 750-tonne “Polar Crane” was lifted into place in a single piece above the reactor building’s third – and final – steel liner ring. This internal crane will rotate 360° above the reactor and be used for refuelling and installing equipment.

Simon Parsons, Nuclear Island Area Director, said:

“Building the first nuclear power station in a generation is a challenging job and the success of this complex operation is due to the determination and commitment of our fantastic teams.

“Lifting the dome allows us to get on with the fitting of equipment, pipes and cables, including the first reactor which is on site and ready to be installed next year.”

Nuclear Minister Andrew Bowie said:

“This is a major milestone in building Britain’s first nuclear reactor in a generation, and a key part of the UK Government’s plans to revitalise nuclear.

“Generating enough zero-carbon power for six million homes, Hinkley Point C will reduce our reliance on imported energy and support our shift to net zero.”

The latest lift highlights the progress being made at Hinkley Point C, where 10,000 workers and 3500 British companies are building a power station which is essential in helping Britian achieve Net Zero. Hinkley Point C will power 6-million homes with reliable zero carbon electricity made in the UK.

Source: Somerset Apple

The government says it is slashing the current red tape around planning permission for solar panels under new rules announced last week

Changes to permitted development rights rules will allow more homeowners and businesses to install solar panels on their roofs without having to go through the planning system.

Under the new rules, homes with flat roofs will be able to install panels without planning permission.

And current rules that require businesses to apply for planning if their solar panels will generate more than one megawatt of electricity will also be scrapped, allowing businesses to install more panels more easily.

This will avoid the current ‘costly planning delays’ on solar panels, with applicants having to wait more than eight weeks, according to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).

The DLUHC says the move will drive down energy bills for homeowners and businesses that install solar panels, as well as driving down emissions to support the government’s net zero commitments.

Housing and planning minister Lee Rowley said: ‘By cutting red tape in the planning system we can make sure homeowners and businesses can install solar panels without being held up by costly delays.

‘Crucially, these permitted development rights are still subject to important conditions, including their use in conservation areas.’

The minister for energy security and net zero, Graham Stuart, said: ‘Removing the 1MW restriction for industrial rooftop solar will help us meet our target of 70GW of solar power by 2035 while supporting hundreds of long-term skilled British jobs, bolstering our world-leading renewables sector and reducing bills for consumers with panels.’

The government has said that, where possible, already developed land should be used for solar panels. The changes will also make it easier for panels to be installed in canopies above car park so long as they are over 10m away from homes.

The government said the new rules were in line with its commitment to speed up the planning system and slash bureaucracy, as outlined by chancellor Jeremy Hunt in his autumn statement last month.

Image Credit: NBS

Today, NBS, the platform for connected construction information, reveals the results of its Digital Construction Report. The study explores the industry’s evolving relationship between digital technology and safety and sustainability – the sector’s biggest challenges. This year it showed two-thirds of professionals using digital tools to calculate environmental-related metrics, a sign that sustainable design is now intrinsic to construction processes.


Significantly, four in ten use digital methods to understand the embodied carbon attached to a project – that is, the amount of CO2 emitted during construction. A similar figure (38%) also uses it to quantify the energy demands of structures and the components that go into them. There’s room for improvement, but the figures show a clear push towards lower carbon outcomes.

Off-Site on the Up

Continuing with the theme of sustainable construction, NBS also analysed levels of off-site construction, an area often associated with greener building practices, due to greater control of materials and waste. The results found that MMC (Modern Methods of Construction) continues to gather pace.

Over half of professionals (57%) had been part of a construction project that had used or required off-site construction within the last year. This is an increase of 7% since 2021. This news comes despite the closure of several high-profile MMC factories.

Delving deeper, manufacturers are the group most likely to be involved with MMC – 7 in 10 had worked with an off-site element, followed by nearly two-thirds of contractors (63%) and over half of consultants (58%). This increase could reflect an industry drive towards net zero as well as recent government backing for further standardisation within MMC.

Living in the Cloud

The report also found that cloud computing is becoming further embedded within building practices, with four out of five now using it.

The stats highlight the positive way technology is supporting collaborative working, with three-quarters using it to share documents and information with clients (77%). A similar number (74%) use it to collaborate with team members and produce 3D models, specifications, and other important documents.

Taking Full Responsibility

NBS’ Digital Construction Report also highlighted increases in the number of professionals following naming conventions when sharing information (77%, up from 2021 figures) – an area that can improve the organisation and management of data. Additionally, over half of respondents reported using interoperable formats like IFC, revealing the growing importance of easily shareable construction data.

However, the report also showed that there are more opportunities to be unlocked by using digital technologies to help with compliance.

The study found that only a third of respondents (34%) were involved with detailed responsibility matrixes (DRM), a process that sets out responsibility for each element of design to ensure greater accountability. Worryingly, this figure has dropped since 2021 (39%). Notably, this figure hovered at around half for architects. This comes despite increased levels of legislation attached to the Building Safety Act, such as the introduction of planning ‘gateways’ which requires a detailed breakdown of responsibilities on an individual level.

Additionally, less than a third of suppliers (28%) currently use a PIM system to manage product information, pointing to information gaps in the construction supply chain. Nevertheless, well over half (56%) provide digital objects for the majority or all their products, a positive result.

Commenting on the survey’s results, David Bain, NBS’ Research Manager, said, “The uptick in professionals seeking environmental-related metrics shows an industry putting sustainability front and centre. The drive towards Net-Zero has no doubt been a catalyst alongside the evolving legislative landscape – there’s never been a greater emphasis on the environmental impact of building practices.

“The study has also yielded unexpectedly positive stats around off-site construction. Despite media headlines and high-profile factory closures giving the impression that MMC isn’t a popular choice, the results show a different story: more professionals are embracing off-site elements than ever before.

“Overall, we’ve seen some marked improvements that the industry should be proud of. There’s an opportunity here to improve digital information sharing, for which professionals have a legal requirement. The ‘golden thread’ and the use of structured data is creating a safer future for all.”

Click here for the full report



£13m project at Imjin Barracks is the first on British Army’s SLA Programme  


Vertically integrated off-site construction specialist Reds10 has completed work on the first project to be delivered as part of the British Army’s Single Living Accommodation (SLA) Programme at Imjin Barracks for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO). The SLA is the first site to benefit from a new wave of net zero carbon construction, and has become one of the most advanced buildings in Europe for Smart Building Control.

Located in Innsworth, Gloucestershire, the three-storey building provides modern, high quality and sustainable accommodation for Army personnel based at the HQ of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC), comprising 69 single en-suite bedrooms, alongside best-in-class communal facilities.

The SLA is a true example of an innovative, digitally-enabled, intelligent building. It generates and analyses over 21,000 data points (including humidity, door and window contacts, sound levels, temperature, daylight, power metering, water and more), whereas a typical Building Management System (BMS) only has around 220 data points feeding into it. Large volumes of real time data are processed and accessed via a platform powered by Reds10’s SMART building technology, ThriveTM, optimising operational performance and maintenance. Advanced monitoring and control drive significant energy and cost savings, provide actionable insights, and enhance user engagement, comfort and experience.

The £13 million project has sustainability at its core, in alignment with the DIO’s 2020-2030 strategy. It has achieved a Defence Related Environmental Assessment Methodology (DREAM) ‘Excellent’ rating, scored more than 95% on the Smart Readiness Indicator (SRI) and complies with a BACS Class A building (BS EN ISO 52120). Compared with Class C, its integrated approach generates savings of:


  • 39% in heating
  • 24% in electricity (lighting)
  • 22% in electricity (auxiliary energy)
  • 20% in domestic water storage/circulation

Each bedroom is equipped with a programmable touchscreen that allows the occupant to customise their heating preferences, increase ventilation and identify any issues. Moreover, the touchscreen provides tenants with information on their monthly electricity and heating consumption, which is ranked on a building-wide leaderboard. The use of gamification helps to incentivise and motivate occupants to make conscious sustainable changes in their everyday lives.


With sustainability measures including the installation of photovoltaic panels and air source heat pumps, there is also an adjacent Nano Crystal Cell Battery holding up to 1327 kWh of energy. The battery ensures resilience and continuity in the event of grid failure and is anticipated to enable the building to go entirely off grid during summer months.


Mike Green, Chief Executive, Defence Infrastructure Organisation, said: “The new accommodation being delivered by DIO and its partners at Imjin Barracks reflects DIO’s continuing commitment to providing the best possible accommodation for the Armed Forces.”

Major General Richard Clements CBE, Director of Army Basing and Infrastructure said: “It is excellent to see the result of significant investment in new modern accommodation for Imjin Barracks, as part of the enduring commitment across Defence to enhance living conditions for our people.

“I am delighted that this building is now ready for occupation. The facilities and interior have been completed to an impressive standard and the design will contribute to local efforts to reduce the Army’s carbon footprint.”


Phil Cook, Defence Sector Lead & Director at Reds10, said: 

“It has been a pleasure to work on this first SLA alongside the DIO, the British Army, Arcadis and the rest of the project team, improving the lived experience for Armed Forces personnel. Thanks to true collaboration and agility throughout the project team, we have been able to deliver a SMART, sustainable space which reflects the way its occupants live and work in today’s modern society.”

The project was delivered for the Army by the DIO, contracting to off-site construction specialist Reds10, Technical Service Providers Arcadis and HLM Architects. Reds10 employed 3D volumetric construction with units arriving on site up to 90% complete, allowing for significantly faster programme delivery, increased security thanks to fewer people needed on site, minimal disruption to a live military site and stronger quality assurance.

The Army’s £1.4 billion SLA Programme is delivering 8,500 SLA bed spaces over ten years to improve living conditions for serving personnel. Additionally, 8,000 SLA bed spaces are being provided by the Defence Estate Optimisation (DEO) Army Programme.