Published: 28th Oct 2015

Innovation, especially in construction, is a very difficult concept. For every person pushing forward with a new technique, material or management process there will always be ‘greybeards’ coming up with reasons why not to do it. There is considerable evidence that ill thought out or too rapidly adopted techniques can have disastrous consequences. The Crescents in Hulme, built from ill-fitting concrete panels and pressed straw and cement board – which were not only ugly but also cold, damp and unpleasant – are one example. Another was the mass roll-out of timber framing in the 1980s when it suddenly became the thing to do, without any thought about how the construction process needed to adapt. I remember a very desultory wet afternoon on a site in Bootle where the slabs were in and the timber framing for all the ground floors on about 100 homes was either standing in puddles or … (To read the full article, subscribe below)