New Insulated Ground Floor Systems

Searching for new insulated ground floor systems for the UK domestic housing market.

Challenge Description

Ground floor systems and components have constantly evolved throughout the years as the Building Regulations have changed, thus affecting the demand for certain solutions (e.g. requirement to improve the thermal performance values of beam and block with insulation). The client is now looking for a step change in the crowded market to be able to differentiate their solution with enhanced properties of current systems and/or component materials. The client is open to find both material suppliers and innovative systems which provide competitive advantages to those already in the market, such as: • Environmentally friendly/sustainable alternatives for EPS (with structural and insulating properties) • Easier to install on site (i.e. lighter for handling or produce less material waste) • Easier to distribute (i.e. materials that expand when removed from their packaging) • Ability to form new shaped elements with new insulating/structural properties • Greater thermal performance values (lower k values) and other desirable properties (i.e. strength) • Allow for reduced depth system by use of stronger/better insulating components • Ability to replace one component by increasing the functionality of another (e.g. finished top sheet to remove wet concrete topping) • Additional properties (e.g. flame retardant or impermeable to water for moisture barrier)

Key Success Criteria

The materials should be available in different grades and need to be light enough to be able to be manually handled, whilst the system must form a robust solution (e.g. have weight-bearing elements so that individuals are able to stand on the flooring during construction).

Background

We are working with a European building products company actively searching for new insulated ground floor systems for the UK domestic housing market. Such systems currently comprise of a varying combination of: prestressed (reinforced) concrete beams; aerated concrete building blocks; EPS (expanded polystyrene) / XPS (extruded polystyrene) infill blocks and EPS/PIR (polyisocyanurate) top sheets; and in situ structural concrete topping or reinforced concrete slabs with EPS bonded to the underside. These systems can be used in both domestic and some commercial applications to provide a weight-bearing, insulated, finished floor surface, and are supplied to building sites as pre-manufactured elements for easy installation.

Preferred Collaboration

The client company is an established manufacturer of building products, with appropriate development and manufacturing resources to commercialise and offer a new system to the UK market. They are open to discuss all forms of collaboration (including acquisitions, joint product developments, supplier relationships etc.), and therefore this opportunity could appeal to both smaller companies and larger companies who want to develop their innovative technology/material or become more well-known. Whilst the company would accept early stage technologies/materials, they would at the least require a sample for testing to assess its properties, or the system should be at least at proof of concept stage. IP of some form is required, but could include patents, secret knowhow or design rights.

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