The joint venture centres on the launch of a metal restraint device for floor joists, developed by Napier to meet Building Regulations Part A (disproportionate collapse) and Part E (resistance to the passage of sound).

Napier’s Centre of Timber Engineering and Building Performance Centre (BPC) invented the concept and took it to Cullen. Together they spent eight weeks designing the product to meet revised Building Regulations covering disproportionate collapse, which now require all new buildings over five storeys to have reinfored structures.

“We found that complying with this rule had a knock-on effect and could cause other problems, including meeting sound transmission regulations,” said BPC deputy director Dr Sean Smith.

“But the product we are launching with Cullen eliminates these problems and actually helps to meet three separate pieces of building legislation.”

Mr Smith said timber frame manufacturers would no longer have to change their production lines when building flats of five storeys or above, saving time and money by assisting in standardising design details.

“We were delighted to be approached by Napier and believe this is a perfect example of how industry and academia can work together,” said Doug Cullen, managing director of Cullen Building Products.

Cullen will sell and market the product, with Napier receiving royalties which it will plough back into research and education.