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Innovation Design Engineering (MA/MSC)

Finn Crockatt

Finn is an interdisciplinary designer working across products, interactions, sculpture and painting. Finn finds inspiration in his design practice from personal insights and emotions he feels in his every day, translating these insights into projects with a larger scope.

Before beginning the MA/MSC in Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London, Finn studied Business, Economics and Social Science at Trinity College Dublin. His background in these subjects helps him to understand the wider context in which design sits and to understand how design does and can impact society.

For his second-year solo project, Finn wanted to look at ways in which we can make sustainability both time and cost-effective in the construction industry.

This project culminated in the creation of a disruptive market innovation called RecCheck

RecCheck is a service that uses machine learning (computer vision) to help stakeholders in the construction industry identify materials for reuse in their projects, test these materials to make sure they are structurally sound and warranty these materials for re-use. Currently, RecCheck analyses the quantities, qualities, strength and safety of architectural glass, but Finn plans to expand RecCheck's capabilities to other materials in the future.

1.     A building is offered for deconstruction.

2.  A business case is established between the client and Recheck following human eye and reversible BIM analysis, taking into account pre-existing damage, carbon savings, number of connections and time.

3.     The Building is then deconstructed and the glass identified for reuse is distributed into groups of identical pieces.

4.     The first phase of the digital inspection begins using the RecCheck application. A sample member of each glass-type is assessed regarding Thickness, Dimensions, Flatness and Fragmentation.

5.     A mechanical strength test is then carried out on the samples using a universal testing machine with the results related back to the RecCheck application.

6.     Glass-types that fail these test are filtered out for recycling

7.     Every piece of glass from the groups that passed are then tested for breaks and degradation using the RecCheck application before being certified for reuse in the new building

8.     Based on the quantity and qualities of the salvaged architectural glass a new building is designed incorporating these materials

9.     Finally the new building is constructed

After deconstruction, identical glass components are grouped, whereby one component is assumed to be representative of the entire group, moderating the requirements for testing. Digital Inspection One is carried out on a sample from each group followed by the Physical Inspection. If the samples pass both these inspections, Digital Inspection Two is then carried out on every piece of glass from each component group that is been incorporated into the design and construction of the new building. Any member that fails is filtered out for recycling. 


To validate RecCheck I conducted qualitative interviews with architects David Healy and James Rossa, and construction site manager Philip Halton. I gave them a run through of how the RecCheck system works and talked them through a mock-up of the RecCheck application. Overall feedback was extremely positive and the application was thought to well-suited to overcome barriers to the use of salvaged materials