Scottish Knowledge Exchange Innovation of the Year Award for Norscot

Timber frame kits, windows and door manufacturer Norscot received the Innovation of the Year Award at the prestigious Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2018, run by Interface.

The awards aim to celebrate the achievements of academic and business collaborations and partnerships.

Highlands and Islands-based company Norscot, in partnership with the University of Strathclyde, was recognised for the research and development of virtual reality show home software. The business found that one of the challenges in the self-build market was the difficulty for customers to visualise their finished home through traditional paper plans and CAD designs. In these circumstances consumers are asking if they can visit a show home but this option is simply impractical when it comes to bespoke designs.

Norscot was introduced to Interface, the Government-backed organisation which links businesses with their academic partner, through HIE (Highlands and Islands Enterprise) and in turn Interface introduced Norscot to the University of Strathclyde.

Norscot’s chairman Peter Body said: “I offer special thanks to Claire Farquhar at Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Shaie MacDonald at Interface. When the idea was first mooted, their vision and encouragement was instrumental in getting it off the ground.”

The software being developed by the University of Strathclyde combines Building Information Modelling (BIM) with virtual reality technology to allow consumers to “walk-through” their new-build to get a better feel for the space and finish of their new home.

Body addedL “The idea is very simple but is taking a small army of very clever and supportive people to bring it to fruition. I thank them all for the progress to date, which has exceeded expectations.

“This award is a very welcome recognition of the project’s potential, which will further enthuse the team to make it a success.”

The award has been accepted with much appreciation from the family-owned company. With its headquarters located in Bower, a small village in the far north of Scotland, Norscot is delighted to be acknowledged as a leader of innovation in Scotland.

Pic caption: (Left to Right) Professor Andrea Nolan OBE, principal and vice-chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University; Peter Body, chairman of Norscot Joinery Ltd and Dr Farzad Rahimian a senior lecturer in Building Information Management and the academic leader of the University of Strathclyde’s Innovative Construction Technologies Team.


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