Product Innovation award winners revealed

Monday 26 Jan 2015

Energy efficiency, Façades and Building automation/control systems are the new sub-categories that listed 2014 winners

The WAN Product Innovation Award, now in its sixth year, attracted entries from all over the world and once again saw a fantastic number of entries into this diverse category.

Judging the entries in this category were Andrew Best, Partner at Buro Happold Brendon Moss, Director at Qatari Diar and Sarah Williams, Principal & Founder at S Williams Architects.

Looking for a winner in each sector we wanted to highlight the best products in our new sub-categories which were: Energy efficiency; Façades and Building automation/control systems.

First up was the judging of the façade products sub-category which the judges found to be particularly interesting. With a variety of products entered into this sub-category ranging from LED Façade technology to Light Redirecting Insulation Glass this was indeed a challenge to pick a façade product that they agreed has the winning qualities they were looking for and stood out from the crowd.

It was a hard decision to pick the winner but the judges all came to the conclusion after lengthy discussion that Petersen Cover by Petersen Tegl would be worthy of this accolade in the façade sub-category. Petersen Cover is a new building product that bestows a distinctive and modern look, whilst retaining all the familiar advantages of traditional brick. Due to the structure of the handmade brick, façades and roofs look beautiful, rustic and exclusive when covered with the new product. Brendon Moss was particularly taken with Petersen Cover “This is how bricks should be made; this is a beautiful handmade product. I would use this”. Sarah Williams also thought this product was one to watch and commented: “Architects will love this, this is beautiful.”

FibreC 3D by Rieder Smart Elements GmbH was Highly Commended in the façade sub-category as the judges were all impressed with this product for good use of fibre reinforced concrete and the flexibility it provided. FibreC 3D, from Austrian manufacturer Rieder, enables architects and builders to use three-dimensional freeform elements on façades with complex geometries. The three-dimensional mould made of glass fibre-reinforced concrete makes façades with ambitious geometric forms possible. Andrew Best really liked this product commenting: “It’s interesting that you can produce something that has a high quality on the inside and outside.” Sarah Williams was also impressed by FibreC 3D mentioning: “You can imagine something like this working in the Middle East very effectively.”

Next up was the judging of the Building Automation/Control Systems sub-category where we saw some hi-tech entries such as The Workpod by Regus Group Services Ltd and MicroTouch by ThermaSol. All of the judges were unanimous in their decision to pick out the winner of this group as Skyfold® Classic 60™ by Railtech Ltd (Skyfold), with their vertically folding retractable acoustic operable wall partitioning system that stores in the ceiling when not in use. This electric system is push button operational and provides for excellent acoustic rating and can be used in just about any location that requires room space division. Andrew Best started the conversation off with some good comments: “They are ringing a few of my bells.” “This is quite interesting as a concept because you always see boardrooms, hotels and meeting rooms where the way of dividing them up is always visually intrusive whereas this provides something different.” Sarah Williams added a good point at the end: “It’s hugely cheaper which is a bonus to the product.”

Last but not least the final part of the Product Innovation Award to be judged was the Energy efficiency sub-category. There was no doubt by the jury that Haiku® with SenseME™ by Big Ass Fans was a standout winner in this field. Launched in June of 2014, Haiku® with SenseME™ takes efficiency to a whole new level. This product thinks and makes decisions for automatic comfort and turns on and off automatically when people enter or leave a space. SenseME also monitors temperature and humidity, adjusting Haiku’s speed when conditions change. Brendon Moss thought not only the product was a winner but also the name adding: “I must say, I’m a fan.” Then Brendon continued: “It does exactly what is says on the tin, I think it’s quite a pleasant looking fan.” Sarah Williams continued: “We don’t really put fans in our buildings over here in the UK but maybe we should start thinking about it.”

As part of this long standing award, we have traditionally set up at BAU to display the winning entries, and this year was no different. With the panel discussion and announcement of the winning and Highly Commended products it is fair to say that we had a successful outcome for the WAN Product Innovation Award and we will be reporting on this in greater depth soon.

So, congratulations to all three amazing winners of this highly competitive category and thank you to all involved in the WAN Product Innovation Award 2014.


Francesca Maw

Senior Awards Coordinator

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