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‘Specwall-LB ’- A finish-ready offsite-manufactured composite panelling system for loadbearing wall applications to replace inefficient and costly traditional ‘assembled-on-site’ solutions


SPECWALL ALLIANCE LIMITED, Loughborough University

The UK has much to do across sectors to compete better in global markets but domestically, the construction industry languishes as the least productive
sector in the UK (more than 20% below the average output per hour for the whole economy in 2017). Whilst construction productivity grew by 3.8% between
2016 and 2017, the industry has a long way to go. As the industry looks to address the Government’s challenge of building 300,000 new homes each year,
amidst a multitude of commercial and market pressures, it needs to become much more productive.
For decades in the UK, housebuilders have relied on aged onsite construction methods using block or timber partitions/joists with infill insulation and
plasterboard facings for internal walls. These methods are labour intensive and slow, require a relatively skilled workforce, perform poorly from a fire and
acoustic perspective, involve hazardous activities and are extremely wasteful — up to 25% waste is common when using these traditional methods. In all but
the very highest specification builds, the finished result cannot approach the accuracy and precision possible with integrated ‘engineered’ factory-made
The 18-month Specwall-LB project (a collaboration between Specwall Alliance and Loughborough University is the first major step towards providing the
UK’s housebuilding sector with an offsite-manufactured loadbearing ‘ready to paint’ solution for internal and external walls