TERRATONICS is a greentech startup based in Ireland. We have developed a sustainable concrete free foundation system.
TypeStartup or self-employed
HeadquartersN52, Killua, Co. Westmeath, Ireland
TERRATONICS is a green tech startup based in Ireland. We have developed a sustainable disruptive technology for the construction sector.
Terratonics won the EIT Climate-KIC competition in 2019- EIT’s Climate KIC is the EU's largest public private partnership addressing climate change through innovation with an ambition to build a zero-carbon economy.
We are also a high potential startup client of Enterprise Irelands, which is a government agency. Terratonics featured last month in the Irish Timeshttps://www.irishtimes.com/business/innovation/not-just-another-brick-in-the-wall-1.4364423
We are currently seeking investment to commercialise our green technology building system.
Environmental Impact of Concrete
After Water, Concrete is the most used materials in the world. Concrete alone, produces 8-11% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. In comparison global volcanic activity accounts for .5 to 1% and forest fires account for 5% of the worlds Co2 emissions annually.
Along with releasing CO2 into the atmosphere, concrete production is responsible for using vast amounts of clean, fresh water.
Research indicates that during the next 35 years, 2,300–2,800 km3 will be withdrawn by the concrete industry. (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-017-0009-5)
For example, annual concrete production uses a volume equivalent of 26 lakes the size of Lough Neagh the largest lake in Ireland and the UK.
World environmental experts have agreed the construction industry has a big role to play in protecting the planet. The construction industry is one of the biggest polluters of the earth, mostly due to the use of concrete.
Sand is a finite resource which is running out quickly most people think the world is full of sand this abundant sand is formed in deserts and is formed by wind erosion which makes it very fine and spherical in shape bbc why-the-world-is-running-out-of-sand
Globally housing supply is falling well short of demand – supply in the UK alone in 2020 is one million units behind demand.
The construction labour force is declining. Highly skilled and experienced workers are retiring or have retrained into other professions. There is a huge shortfall in apprenticeship uptake due to lack of appetite to work in the construction sector owing to its vulnerability in economic downturn. The labour force is not sustainable, and a runaway crisis is unfolding before us.
Traditional onsite methods of construction are slow and arduous. They also predominantly use concrete which along with being very damaging to environment and time consuming brings a wide range of quality and working conditions issues.
Costs are rising month on month. Constructing houses becoming difficult for councils and impossible for low- and middle-class families.
Background To Our Solution
Method 1 is called Onsite construction; this is the Traditionally brick by brick method that has served us well for millenniums. It is when all the components are delivered to site and assembled piece by piece. Onsite construction is a long arduous process that brings with it substantial margins for error, delays and inconsistencies along with the addition of creating an enormous environmental impact. Due to climate change, the global housing crisis and the fact that many traditional building materials are unsustainable, this method of construction is coming near to its demise and an alternative is needed urgently.
Method 2 is called Offsite construction; this building process is when most of the building’s components are manufactured in a fine-tuned quality-controlled factory environment similar to the cars are made. Main assemblies such as walls, floors and roofs are made in panelised or volumized sections which are then delivered to site and assembled in a fast and safer building process. Offsite site construction has many advantages over the older onsite method. It also has a lower environmental impact due to its use of more sustainable materials and a lot less deliveries to site. However, both methods rely heavily on environmentally damaging concrete (Please see below)
Terratonics has developed a robust pioneering concrete free foundation and floor system, which is aimed at offsite manufacturers, it will allow them to fully detach from using concrete in Modern Methods of Construction systems (MMC’s): such as, Timber Frame, Light Gauge Steel Frame and Structural Insulated Panels (SIP’s) building systems. Terratonics will offer a sustainable alternative to these offsite manufacturers, to replace expensive and environmentally damaging concrete in foundations and sub-floors.
Herriot Watt University are using the Terratonics solution for their sustainable house of the future at the Dubai Expo which is now 2021. The company is also engaged in a UK Government project called Seismic. This is a project to standardise the building of modular schools of which 2,000 will be built per year.
A summary of the Key Benefits of the Terratonics Solution are:
The main component of the Terratonics solution is a Terrapod which is a structural pedestal beam carrier that transfers the building’s associated loads to the engineered ground below. The Terrapod is made from an engineering polymer called Nyrim that is extremely tough and has both a high tensile and compression strength. Each Terrapod is set out in grid formation to suit the buildings design then they are connected to timber or lgs steel beams, leveled in place and then floor and the wall assemblies are installed. The system is very fast and it is loved by environmental conscience architects engineers and builders.
Our system can be used in a wide variety of residential and commercial building projects, such as:
• Office space
• Nursing homes
• Additional space for public buildings such as hospitals.
• Tourism Recreational/amenity buildings
• Micro data centres
The Solar Impulse Efficient Solution label seeks to bridge the gap between ecology and economy, bringing together protection of the environment and financial viability to show that these solutions are not expensive fixes to problems, but rather opportunities for clean economic growth.
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