Innovation Disruption

The read thread that shapes us

From the extra-long formwork girder and the first self-climbing formwork system to fully digitised planning – innovation is the common thread in our history. But that’s not all: we have developed our own innovation system ourselves, and we are exploring what comes after formwork and scaffolding. Because even if this represents a challenge to our business today, we want to continue to be the people who provide the best service to our customers.

Not the ten thousand and first

We want to be the ones who bring something new to the market and, above all, we think about what comes after.

“My job is to think about how to make formwork and scaffolding superfluous. I am the disruptor on duty, so to speak, with the task of destroying PERI’s business model. Because when completely new and different processes replace classic reinforced concrete construction, we want to be the ones to bring them to the market. The question is not whether this will happen, but when. How I found myself in this job says a lot about the innovative spirit at PERI. Because, of course, there was nothing in the job description about wreaking destruction. Rather, the company was looking for someone to lead innovation management. The position was advertised internally and the application process was an idea pitch for the most innovative concept. I stood in front of the management and questioned the whole process: at PERI, innovation takes place at all levels, from the people who get their hands dirty in production and on the construction sites to the technical offices, research and development: ten thousand people are constantly thinking about how to make formwork and scaffolding better and more economical. There’s no need to add another one to that number, I said, and that I would much rather be the first to focus on what comes next. I got the job by questioning it. And I do my job by repeating that again every day.” 

Frank Ilg

Frank Ilg, Head of Future Products & Technologies

Easy construction in slums

The downside of global urbanisation: more and more people are living in slums. According to UN figures, their number will double from one to two billion people by 2030. Together with the non-profit organisation Start Somewhere, we have therefore developed a low-cost and fire-safe construction system made of hollow concrete blocks that can be joined without mortar and by hand to form buildings with any ground plan. For us, the corresponding formwork equates to an entry-level product for a global mass market, while local people use it to produce their own building materials in small businesses, thus improving their housing situation at the same time as generating local added value.

In November 2021, we won the German Innovation Award 2021 in the category "Building & Elements" for this. You can find details on this in our press release. 

  • Das erste erfolgreich abgeschlossenes Projekt mit TwistBlock Moulds: das „Oloo’s Children Centre“ im Kibera-Slum in Nairobi (Kenia) entstand nach Planungen von Oliver von Malm aus über 7.200 Steinen. Die Schule bietet Platz für 400 Kinder.
    TwistBlock Moulds for a better world

    TwistBlock Moulds is the result of a collaboration between PERI and the non-profit start-up "Start Somewhere", founded by architect Oliver von Malm in 2017, which aims to sustainably improve living conditions in slums all over the world.

  • Dr. Fabian Meyer-Brötz, Dr. Jürgen Mayer und Frank Ilg vor einer prototypischen Anwendung des modular, mörtellos und flexibel auf unterschiedlichste Grundrisse anwendbaren Stecksystems.
    A low-cost and fire-safe construction system

    Dr Fabian Meyer-Brötz, Dr Jürgen Mayer and Frank Ilg in front of a prototype application of the modular, mortarless plug-in system that can be flexibly applied to a wide variety of ground plans.

  • The Picture shows the automated prefabrication process
    MESH technology

    MESH technology is a digital production method for reinforced concrete structures that makes it possible to produce complex or curved reinforcement cages, which were previously manufactured with elaborate manual work, through an automated prefabrication process. The 3D grid structure created in this way then serves as formwork and reinforcement at the same time and is filled with a specific concrete mix. This allows complex shapes and structures to be created cost-effectively without conventional formwork and without formwork waste.

    The MESH technology is used in customised concrete structures for the production of sophisticated shapes for building construction and civil engineering as well as for the structurally optimised creation of conventional concrete structures with less material input than usual.

  • Building bridges

    Building Information Modelling, i.e. fully digital building recording, optimises the construction and management of buildings of all types throughout their entire life cycle. Here, during the renovation of the sanctuary of Ulm Cathedral in Germany, it served to preserve the unique architectural monument. Thanks to digital three-dimensional as-built geometry recording and modelling, the entire sanctuary could be made accessible using the PERI UP system scaffold with an accurate fit right into the tightest corners of the Gothic vault – without causing damage or needing even a single dowel.

Because now is already too late

We use trend scouting and scenario techniques to anticipate tomorrow’s business models, technologies and products. In doing so, we boil down mega trends, industry drivers and forecast data into alternative future scenarios. Nodes of high probability emerge overlaying the possible paths towards these “futures”: robust approaches to the targeted search for disruptive technologies and products. We recognised years ago that additive manufacturing is revolutionising construction, with the result that, for example, 3D construction printing is now a successful business area for PERI, and the first printed houses in Germany came from us.

  • The first real residential buildings from the 3D construction printer
    Germany's first 3D-printed building: In Beckum, North Rhine-Westphalia, we printed Germany's first residential building. The two-story single-family house with approx. 80 square meters (861 sqft) of living space per floor was not built using conventional construction methods but printed with a construction printer. Europe's largest 3D-printed apartment building: In Wallenhausen (Bavaria), Germany, we printed Europe's largest apartment building. The building has three-storys with approx. 380 square meters (4,090 sqft) of living space.
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