Innovation within Construction and Renovation

Sustainability and safety are among the most important drivers of innovation for construction companies, and the industry is no stranger to research and development (R&D).

For as long as buildings have been erected, there have been efforts to improve the techniques and understanding behind them. Modern construction companies need to balance tight budgets with rising customer expectations, so innovation is more important than ever.

R&D tax credits provide an incentive for firms to identify new ways of working, from the use of new, sustainable materials to construction techniques that make sites safer and more efficient. For more information on construction activity that may be eligible for tax relief, see the list of examples below.

Examples of eligible activities

  • Investigating and using new materials
  • Adapting and re-purposing traditional material
  • Researching energy-saving techniques
  • Overcoming traditional challenges in new ways
  • Creating efficient construction techniques
  • Developing safer methods and practices
  • Researching and developing new tools

Listed buildings present unique construction challenges, many of which cannot be foreseen at the outset. A firm working on a 200-year-old listed barn had to account for the unique characteristics of the building. The barn was built without footing support for its foundations, but subsidence meant a traditional approach was not viable.

Extensive research led to a customised solution, guaranteeing the safety of the building without compromising its historic appeal.

A construction company was engaged to carry out demolition works at a site where access was blocked by two adjacent buildings.

Unable to deploy the usual machines for the works, the company designed and installed a bespoke conveyor belt system. This operated across several levels, transporting materials through the building itself and eliminating the need for heavy plant.

Unexpected increases in labour requirements can be challenging for construction firms, as they must balance customer expectations of quality and timings with the need to maintain an appropriate labour force.

A company concerned about scalability designed and developed a bespoke tracking system, which allows it to coordinate its workforce more effectively.

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