It’s no secret that innovation in the construction industry is a slow adoption. Changing the status quo and doing things better, smarter, faster is not something that is coming quickly. When I approached the subject recently to a CEO heavy weight his response was; “when is the last time a major project came in under budget and early? It’s too bureaucratic, too much who you know and too much waste.”

All of this is true, but there are those out there who want to change the status quo and are doing all they can to have their voices be heard. It’s not an easy road but it has to start somewhere, NON-DRILL is one of those companies.

Inspired from an idea that came to a crew while working on one of those over budget and over time projects, NON-DRILL developed and patented a clutch system that can change one aspect of the construction project; reducing costs, installation time, and exposure to health risks.

Initially designed for temporary and permanent handrails, it was born out of an idea that there had to be a better, safer way to get this job done quickly. Handrail installations are a slow, long and arduous task, there is drilling, hitting steel, exposure to dust, redoing it when you get it wrong, not to mention the elements taking its toll over time, only to rust and having to replace the system.

Not anymore, the NON-DRILL system addresses all of this and more, simply, by connecting existing anchors in precast structures. What makes this system so innovative and unique? Well it addresses a number of pain points for the industry;

• No more drilling, it really is a safer more health-conscious option

The true impact of concrete dust is yet to be seen, but we do know that silica dust is harmful when inhaled into your lungs. As it is 100 times smaller than a grain of sand, you can be breathing it in without knowing. Even when you wear a mask while drilling, it stays in the air and travels to those who may not be as well protected.

Exposure to silica dust can lead to the development of lung cancer, silicosis kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is estimated that 230 Australians develop lung cancer each year as a result of past exposure to silica dust at work.* What this could cost the industry in the future is unknown.

• Save money on labour, it’s an average of 12-1 versus drilling when installing posts

Labour overruns are one of the biggest costs to the industry. Because it can be used for temporary and permanent systems and can attach to existing precast structures, NON-DRILL enables quick and easy edge protection. For temporary applications the system can be removed, leaving no trace of any surface damage or fixings other than the galvanised lifting anchor. This can be grouted over, eliminating the use of angle grinders and reducing trip hazards.

• Keeping that safety record in tact

Impeccable safety records are a must for any company, not just this industry. Having a system that removes the opportunity for injury just makes sense. No need for, power tools, welders, grinder or other hazards, reducing noise and the risk of hand, eye and ear injuries.

• Saving costs in the early stages

Designers and engineers are seeing the benefits and savings very early in the planning/design stages by adding the anchors for the NON-DRILL system into the initial design. By pre-planning where the pours will be for setting the anchors, there is no excuse for edge protection to not be done to Australian/Industry standards. We have seen this already in the successful planning and implementation of the system for Bridge Segments.

• Limit the damage to repurpose, saving money and damage

Thinking about waste; it makes sense to reduce and reuse. The system is easily removed or transferred from temporary to permanent. The labour savings on such a system are evident. But not having the waste from damage when removing the system…well that is a bonus for the environment.

• Reduce repairs, replacements and allocated revenues

In Australia the elements, salt, sand and heat create havoc on exposed or damaged steel. It was difficult to find data on the costs that councils and governments have to allocate to their budgets to replace and repair handrail systems but it would not be small given the “old way” of installation. Again, the labour to drill, repair, replace is where the costs are significant. The NON-DRILL system minimises all of this and based on their website video can withstand a serious amount of impact and pressure. It’s a win!

NON-DRILL is innovation for an industry that needs it. It’s exciting to see that this Australian designed system has garnered global interest. Showing no signs of slowing down, there are a number of new solutions coming available from the company over the next few months.

Being a disruptor in an industry is never easy. NON-DRILL is definitely up for the challenge tackling it head on and at full speed.

For more information on the NON-DRILL system. Visit

NON-DRILL is a C4MG client.

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