Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Newtecnic is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Newtecnic leadership
Clockwise from top-left:
Andrew Watts CEng RIBA
Howard Tee MIED RIBA
Yasmin Watts FRSA RIBA
Ross Kunchev CEng MICE
In development:
Space Port, USA
Newtecnic is a world-leading firm of engineering designers
and architects. We design large-scale complex buildings
for clients who require the near future to be brought to
the built environment that they wish to construct and inhabit.
A key tool in the work of the company is the design and
implementation of innovative envelope systems for buildings of
complex geometry. CEO Andrew Watts explains more.
“Envelopes” are the wall, roof and supporting structure of a building. Entering a
Newtecnic-engineered envelope is about experiencing the near future: the chance
for the occupant to be a part of a world greater than that of today.
The company’s designs are achieved through a technology-based research-and-
development programme for new construction systems which are conducted
in-house. R&D is focused entirely on emerging technologies of building enclosures
– structures, walls and roofs – for use on projects where the firm is appointed as
engineers or architects, or when taking up both roles.
The technologies of building envelopes are based on an understanding of
corresponding current technologies used in contemporary buildings. We describe
these current technologies in textbooks authored by the company, which are used
in university engineering and architecture schools around the world. Examples
of Newtecnic-generated construction systems are set out in case study books
published by market leader Birkhauser.
Research and development
As a result of its R&D activities, Newtecnic is able to combine an engineering design
a esthetic with its own engineering technologies for the design and construction
»CEO: Andrew Watts
»Established in 1995
»Based in UK, USA, and KSA
»Services: Architecture,
structural engineering, facade
engineering, environmental
and MEP engineering
»No. of employees: Up to 20 in
each location
»Newtecnic is ranked 3rd on
New Civil Engineer’s Top
100 Power List and holds the
Queen’s Award for Enterprise
Highlighting best practice
of a new generation of high-
performance, low-energy buildings.
This method is made possible by
prototyping and testing. Physical
testing of building assembly prototypes
is conducted at Cambridge University
Engineering Department.
In addition to university textbooks,
new knowledge created by Newtecnic
is shared through journal papers
written by the company, while also
commercialising the R&D outputs as
façade systems for fabrication in the
UK and abroad.
New technologies
We have developed and deployed
two sets of technologies for use in the
construction and operation of large-
scale, complex buildings.
Our work on emerging technologies has
a primary goal of reducing the number
of building components in order to
reduce the total energy required to
construct a building. We have also
worked on emerging technologies
which reduce the energy consumed in
the occupancy of buildings, primarily
through the reduction of energy
transmission through walls, roofs and
structure. Examples of built projects
where the number of components has
been reduced include the KAFD Metro
Hub in Riyadh and the MICA Centre
in Changsha. In both projects, the
functions of separate components for
the façades, roofs and their supporting
structure were combined. This approach
had the advantage of significantly
reducing the quantity of materials
required for the construction as well as
allowing fabrication of assemblies to
be carried out locally.
Built projects where energy for the
building in use has been reduced
significantly, as a result of the
construction method used for the
façades and roofs, are the Grand Theatre
in Rabat and KCTV Tower inIstanbul.
Local fabrication and reducing
Our designs provide a significantly
reduced carbon footprint as a result of
low-embodied energy local fabrication.
The company’s technologies can be
fabricated for large-scale applications
using readily available methods of
assembly suited to most locally based
fabricators around the world. This
approach is a development from high-
carbon methods of fabrication and
transportation used by competitors. On
average per project, ten companies local
to the project contribute as fabricators.
These companies are able to participate
as a result of having open access to
Newtecnic technologies and methods.
The manufacture of the firm’s façade
and roof systems encourages a return
of such industry to local communities,
who benefit directly via employment
growth and skills development. The
design approach aims to close the
HQ Building, SF Bay
Area, CA, USA
The design
approach aims
to close the
disconnect in
design and
disconnect in society between design
and manufacturing.
The reduction of waste of materials
in both off-site fabrication and on-
site construction is a key benefit of
this approach. Design information
for the project is aimed at fabrication
rather than describing only how the
completed building should look. The
fabricator knows what to order ahead
of time, adding more cost certainty to
their bidding and procurement.
The development of a single technology
for building envelopes of complex
shape has been a key research task at
Newtecnic. This innovative wall-and-
roof panel system comprises current
technologies that were combined to
create a new technology resulting
from a novel assembly, and analysed
using methods of structural analysis
developed as part of the project. The
innovation brought together five
technologies which were adapted and
developed from applications which
were not related. Physical prototypes
were fabricated and tested structurally
in the Structures Laboratory at CUED.
On all projects, we are halving the cost
of a comparable building envelope
system for wall, roof and supporting
structure. In addition, and where
required, Newtecnic is doubling the
life span of the envelope, from 25-
30 years to 50-60 years. The cost of
these longer-life systems is 75 per
cent of that of a comparable envelope
system. In short, we are meeting a
client demand for longer design life at
lower cost. For building owners, the
implementation of the innovation on
four example projects, Grand Theatre
Rabat, KCTV Tower, KAFD Hub and
MXH Centre, Changsha, has saved a
total of approximately £129 million.
What’s next
Newtecnic is undertaking research and
development of the engineering design
principles needed to design an ground-
based replica of an iconic space vehicle.
The company has spent 12 months
developing the technology required for its
construction. The large, complex scale of
the form has required the development
of existing building technologies beyond
their currentapplications.
were combined
to create a new
resulting from
a novel
In development:
Space Port, USA
In construction: KAFD
Metro Station, Riyadh

This article was sponsored by Newtecnic. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.