Think Outside the Square, a construction industry think tank
Founded in 2020 by industry professional and Productivity Force director Paul Breen, Think Outside the Square is a construction industry think tank which aims to develop new ideas to overcome challenges and grow efficiencies across several job sites.
As a former owner of a civil construction company and with experience as a construction manager, Paul is fully aware of what works and what can be improved on the job site to increase productivity and safety.
While working with Productivity Force, Paul and the team have been able to develop and create new products including NON-DRILL, a unique and clever handrail system that can be fixed to RE walls, retaining walls, culvert cells, chain wire fencing, bridge decks and parapets without drilling and exposing steel.
He says that there are plenty of great ideas circulating in the industry the difficulty lies in getting them off the ground: “We’ve found that people working on the ground in construction roles have some wonderful ideas relating to the tasks they’re doing.
“They work hands-on, day-in, day-out and are well-placed to evaluate how things function, how processes could be advanced, and if there is an opportunity for a new product that will improve the way they work.
“Through Productivity Force, we have the workshop capabilities to progress good ideas into development, and to safely test how effective the new products could be.”
A recent Think Outside the Square innovation that hit job sites in April last year in response to COVID-19, was the group’s Mobile Hand Washing station (MOH) (pictured), which was designed to provide minimal contact handwashing on large work sites.
Each self-contained unit features a 200L fresh water tank, hand sanitiser, paper towel dispenser and first aid box, as well as secured disposal for waste. The fresh water is turned on using a foot pump, while the grey water is also collected for use on garden or similar.
As well as MOH, Think Outside the Square has a further three products that are currently progressing through the patenting process – ideas that originated from Productivity Force – along with two additional projects borne from outside the Think Outside the Square / Productivity Force groups.
If ideas progress to market, contributors are provided with a share of the earnings.