Robotic technology company FBR Limited (ASX: FBR) has executed a binding suite of agreements with a subsidiary of CRH plc, one of the largest concrete block suppliers in the United States.
Affiliates of CRH Ventures and FBR have executed a Demonstration Program agreement to jointly construct up to 10 houses in the United States with FBR’s Hadrian X construction robot, while FBR has granted CRH Ventures an exclusive Option to enter into an exclusive joint venture for the supply of Wall as a Service in the United States following the successful achievement of the milestones of the Demonstration Programme.
This venture is the result of significant collaboration between industry leaders, driving innovation in construction for a better-built future. Robotics is seen as playing a key part in re-shaping construction sites to create safer, more efficient and sustainable environments.
Demonstration Program and Option Agreements
Affiliates of CRH Ventures and FBR have executed a Demonstration Program agreement to test and evaluate the use of the Hadrian X to supply Wall as a Service in the United States. FBR will provide one Hadrian X built to Australian specifications to complete the test builds. Under the Option agreement, CRH Ventures has paid for an Option for further collaboration with FBR pending the success of the Demonstration Programme aimed at constructing up to 10 houses in Florida. Upon execution of the Demonstration Programme and Option Agreements, 10% of the US$2.0 million Option fee became payable immediately; 40% will be payable upon completion of a Factory Acceptance Test; 30% will be payable upon completion of a Site Acceptance Test in the United States; and the remaining 20% will be payable immediately upon the completion of the Demonstration Program. Milestone payments are non-refundable.
The Hadrian X® unit will pass its Factory Acceptance Test upon the completion of a test build at FBR’s premises in Perth at an effective lay rate of at least 285 blocks per hour, using only a tablet to control the Hadrian X® and a crew of no more than three people.
The Hadrian X® unit will pass its Site Acceptance Test upon the completion of a test build outdoors with the same requirements as the Factory Acceptance Test at an agreed location in Florida, and confirmation from an independent structural engineer that the constructed walls of the test build are consistent with the design and meet applicable building standards.
Upon the successful completion of the Site Acceptance Test, an affiliate of CRH Ventures, and Fastbrick Americas Engineering LLC, a subsidiary of FBR, will conduct a Demonstration Programme in Florida consisting of the construction of the external walls of between five and 10 single storey houses using concrete blocks supplied by an affiliate of CRH Ventures. Fastbrick Americas Engineering is responsible for entering into contracts for five of the houses in the Demonstration Programme, while an affiliate of CRH Ventures is responsible for entering into contracts for up to five houses in the Demonstration Programme, subject to timing requirements.
The Demonstration Programme will be deemed complete when FBR completes construction of its five houses and any houses contracted by an affiliate of CRH Ventures.
FBR has granted CRH Ventures an exclusive Option to trigger the commencement of a joint venture for the supply of Wall as a Service using Hadrian X construction robots in the United States, wherein they would be granted 49% of the equity in a newly formed joint venture entity.
After commencement of the joint venture, FBR at its cost will as soon as practicable swap out the first Australian- spec Hadrian X unit with a United States-spec Hadrian X unit, title to which will be transferred to the joint venture at no cost to the joint venture.