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Aquaspira Wins Prestigious Industry Award

Drainage specialist Aquaspira has won the Pipeline Industries Guild award for ‘Inspiring Innovation, Cost-Saving and Efficiency’ for its SmartSense intelligent pipeline system. The award recognises innovation in the industry and is awarded to the best new idea for increasing efficiency and reducing costs in the pipeline sector.

The Nelson based company designs and manufactures drainage pipes and systems and launched SmartSense following a six-figure investment and two-years of collaborative research with the University of Birmingham.

A next generation drainage pipe system that incorporates sensor technology and a high proportion of recycled material resulting in a low-carbon pipeline system that is monitors and evaluates its own performance, the ground that surrounds it and how it is installed.

Developed at a new research laboratory at Aquaspira’s Nelson-based headquarters, this lower carbon smart pipe will make a significant step-change in helping the construction industry achieve Government de-carbonisation targets.

Phillip Clisham, Technical Director and The Guild’s Communication Panel Chair, presented the award and said: “The world is changing fast and the whole industry is under pressure to reduce the carbon costs of the industry’s operations, as well as the embedded carbon cost of the things that we build.

“This means that we are under pressure to use thinner-walled pipes which rely more heavily on the quality of their embedment for support whilst also being driven towards using selected as-dug material for pipe embedment, rather than importing ideal processed material. The combination means that the quality of construction is going to be more important than ever, particularly for large diameter pipes. AquaSpira’s approach is to develop a pipe that can tell you whether or not it has been installed properly.”

Dr Paul O’Regan, Technical Director of Aquaspira, said:  “This is the driving concept behind our innovation. If we can monitor the long-term condition of both the pipe and the ground we can improve pipeline integrity, save maintenance costs and reduce the risk of having poorly installed systems – mitigating problems across the lifetime of the product.”

Neil Wallace, Managing Director of Aquaspira, added: “Innovation is at the heart of our business and we are thrilled to be presented with this award from the Guild.  As a business, we have been working tirelessly to reduce the carbon footprint of our products and provide innovative solutions to the industry – this award recognises that effort, enthusiasm and dedication of all of our staff.”

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• AquaSpira designs and manufactures next-generation large diameter drainage solutions for the construction industry. • Founded in 2007 by an experienced team, Aquaspira delivers effective low-carbon drainage solutions using the latest composite materials and manufacturing technologies. By 2017, Aquaspira pipes were named in the Housebuilder Product of the Year for best external product. • All Aquaspira products are manufactured in the UK and we are now a mainstream supplier to the utilities, construction, highways, rail, airport, ports, commercial, housebuilding and green energy sectors. • In 2020, Aquaspira secured a £174,000 grant from Innovate UK (part of UK Research and Innovation) which drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas. Aquaspira is supplementing the grant with a further £44,000 and is set to work in partnership with the University of Birmingham and the UKCRIC National Buried Infrastructure Facility to develop a lower carbon smart pipe for sustainable large-scale buried infrastructure projects.

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