Sandpits: Transforming Construction for a Sustainable Future
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Sandpits: Transforming Construction For A Sustainable Future

Working together with industry and government to develop innovative solutions for the sustainable transformation of the construction sector.


To support its platform programme, the Construction Innovation Hub has built sandpits. These sandpits will provide a test bed facility at the MTC for the foreseeable future offering a safe space to test, learn and develop, which is an important part of the Hub’s legacy to the sector.

This in turn will support the development of robust and reliable products that can be delivered straight to market and provide a vehicle to be used by industry partners in collaboration, and for shared learning.



Indoor Sandpit

The indoor sandpit test structure offers space for development and de-risking of products developed alongside industry partners, at a scale of the entire building, and with respect to interdependencies between various products and sub-assemblies.

Education Sandpit

The education sandpit follows the success of the GenZero programme, which centred on the design of a zero-carbon school.

The Construction Innovation Hub has prototyped elements of this design including:

• Home-grown timber, panelised hall

• Steel volumetric corridor pod

• Steel volumetric toilet pod

The education sandpit was built in collaboration with: Balfour Beatty, Cundall, Lyall Bills & Young Architects, Smith and Wallwork Engineers, Mott MacDonald, Ecosystems Technologies, McAvoy, Seismic Group, and Fenton Partners.

Health Sandpit

The health sandpit is subsequent to the success of University College London’s challenging space frontiers programme that centred on co-designing different modules of an operating theatre through collaborative planning and specialist supply chain engagement.

Digitally, the Hub has expanded this to consider a full interventional therapy suite cluster of rooms. Physically, it then built a flexible testbed, focused on enabling testing and development of innovative MEP delivery cassettes, laser cut reinforcement structural elements, modularised roof cassettes, and interoperable interior wall solutions.

The health sandpit was built in collaboration with: University College London, Balfour Beatty, NG Bailey, Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick, HLM Architects, Curtins, Mott MacDdonald, PCE Ltd, Metlase, Roger Bullivant, B.M.I Construction Ltd, and Curtis Moore.