…using the power of plants to win a tender?

Here’s a neat idea from Dominion Construction of Canada, one of the contractors in our ‘7 wonders’ feature. When it wanted to emphasise its green credentials to a sustainability-conscious potential client, the bid team submitted a proposal written on recycled paper embedded with real seeds. Afterwards, the client could put the paper in compost, water it, and enjoy the results. And lo – Dominion won the contract. ‘It definitely caught their attention and they talked about it a lot,’ said Wade Benjaminson, senior vice-president of the Manitoba division.

...deploying a dancing yellow dump truck?

We’d like to introduce you to Rocky the Robot Truck, the very latest innovation in construction plant. Bored with dump trucks that just, well, dump stuff? Rocky has a full-tilting bed to cope with tricky loads, can talk to you in an a butch American accent, and dances and flashes his lights when he hears music. And you won’t have to worry about financing, because he only costs £64.99. Rocky has been entertaining us in the office, but we know he secretly wants a new home. If you’d like to adopt this Matchbox toy – either as a site mascot or as a budding young constructor’s Christmas present – please email us with your suggestion of how Rocky could help with your project. Our new address is constructionmanager@atompublishing.co.uk

...the waste paint lake seeping across the country?

It’s made up of 56 million litres of unused paint thrown away in the UK each year, posing the risk of hazardous chemicals seeping into the ground or entering water supplies. Opening the can to let the paint dry is one option, but Dulux Trade has developed a new fast-acting alternative. Its Paint Solidifier powder can be mixed with leftover paint in the can, allowing can and contents to be disposed of as normal household waste. It’s a truly green product, or if you prefer magnolia, or buttercup yellow…

...meeting your virtual clients inside a virtual building?

It’s not such a far-fetched idea following the launch of Archi-Me simulation software, which creates 3D virtual environments users can explore using ‘avatars’, or computer characters. The software allows any 3D CAD model to be customised to allow avatars to interact with their surroundings, re-arrange furniture, open doors or communicate with other avatars. The software’s creator, MOOFU, claims it will revolutionise the way architects, planners and designers showcase and test their ideas. As far as we can tell, it won’t simulate expensive client lunches yet, but fingers crossed that will be in the sequel.

...playing a game of roof cricket?

It’s the new craze sweeping the nation. Use some handy rebar as stumps, place your fielders right at the edge for maximum danger, and hope that the fast bowler knows how to decelerate. Only kidding, it’s just a group of BAM Construct employees taking a break from work on Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s £21m Carnegie Pavilion at Headingley.

Captained by project manager Simon Sutcliffe (pictured at first slip), BAM will be settling in to play a long innings through to completion next May. Just watch your footing there Simon.