Introducing C6(n)

In a world with a rapidly growing population, the rate at which buildings are constructed is a major challenge. But what if there were a way for buildings to adapt and change based on the needs and trends of the future? This was one of the key questions on our minds when we developed C6(n) – an innovation achieved by drawing on knowledge from the aeronautical, automotive and marine industries and applied to construction. Innovating horizontally, we have applied leading edge composite materials and rethought traditional approaches to structural engineering to create a kit of parts which can be used either together or independently as re-usable building components.

For a number of years, we have been working in the field of events, where we design, test, adapt and deploy kits of building parts to great effect, making refinements and improvements along the way. In addressing the challenge of creating a building kit that is adaptable and structurally sound, we concentrated on the validation, manufacture and improvement of our existing kits, refining them to be flexible, lightweight, reusable, thermally efficient and structurally stable, without degrading over time – all of which are essential qualities if the kits are to be adapted for the construction industry. Fundamental to achieving this was the materials we used… 

Composite materials and structures are proven in high technology industries where strength is paramount (such as the marine and aerospace sectors). However, their application in the construction sector is limited due to a number of factors, including:

  • Lack of understanding of material properties within the civil engineering space.
  • Difficulty for customers and designers to meet regulatory standards required by national authorities
  • A general lack of proven interface (joint) designs.  

We aimed to tackle these challenges by developing a kit with that utilised materials with proven structural properties, thus making them better suited for them to be applied in the construction sector. We call this system MESR-Technics (“Modular Extensible Scalable Re-configurable” kit of parts). Our approach is to focus on the application of Monocoque stressed skin panels to create building components which blend structural strength with insulation properties and high performance lightweight frameworks.

After overcoming the challenges associated with design and materials, the second obstacle was to offer structures which compete well on price. Current methods invariably use specific materials for specific tasks. Aluminium or steel, for example, is used where high tensile and bending strength are required, while brick and concrete are used where compressive strength is required.  

Designing modern construction systems with all the benefits of modern materials will create easy to erect buildings, moving the work from the building site into the factory. Using the latest thinking in composites, we know that significant long term efficiencies and cost improvements can be achieved, and this is the fundamental to our approach when developing our kit of parts. For our parts to be successful, we require the parts kit to be effectively validated with a degree of rigour which enables our future customers to have confidence. We also need to be able to meet the needs of regulatory bodies and buildings assessors, so we are creating a pack of data and information which gives them the confidence to approve the MESR system.

To find out more about C6(n), visit their website

Event link: https://tv.theiet.org/?event=3600   

C6n Overview link: https://tv.theiet.org/?eventvideoid=8802