Problem Addressed

Concrete is a construction resource requiring significant decarbonisation in the race to Net-Zero. Contractors often operate in the blind in terms of concrete maturity, due to antiquated testing methods. As such, concrete is often over-performant in order to increase safety margins, resulting in high embodied carbon mixes. Additionally, novel low carbon concrete chemistries are often more complicated to work with and traditional strength testing methodologies make them unfeasible at scale.

Solution Overview

ConcreteDNA is a construction intelligence platform that allows contractors to build more efficiently, safely, and sustainably. The flagship concrete module is powered by a fully wireless and embeddable sensor that measures and transmits the compressive strength of the pour in real-time to the platform. Paired with an artificial intelligence feature that is able to predict the curing time of a given mix, contractors are able to plan ahead and strike concrete formwork that lies on the critical path precisely when it is safe to, rather than waiting on slow test cube lab reports.

By scientifically determining the compressive strength of concrete in real-time, contractors can choose a concrete mix that is only as performant as they need, allowing them to significantly reduce the cement content and be more responsive with design mixes. Thanks to these insights, ConcreteDNA currently helps contractors build up to 30% faster.

Converge promotes the use of low carbon concretes and alternatives, by validating their in-situ performance scientifically, and providing real-time intelligence to allow field teams to take proactive mitigating measures to ensure quality.

Converge customers can see anywhere between 3-22x ROI on the solution, with optimal results going to customers that are structured to act on the real-time data, and strike formwork as soon as the system shows that the concrete has reached critical strength.

Further benefits

  • By allowing contractors to strike concrete formwork at the soonest safest moment, Converge allows contractors to build up top 30% faster. Finishing a project sooner means that diesel generators are running less.
  • Thermal differential monitoring helps mitigate thermal cracking, meaning less rework and less waste.
  • Wireless and embedded sensors provide a non-destructive method of testing concrete which results in less wasted concrete through testing cubes (or cylinders).

Case Study

St Johns Manchester Good Yard

The site

Manchester Goods Yard is the creative and professional hub of the £1bn St John’s quarter development with 30,000m2 of floor space, across nine floors, dedicated to offices, co-working spaces and retail. Careys were subcontracted to Leandlease to construct the frame which featured a PT slab design.

The first and second steel strand tensions were the critical path activities and could only commence once the strength had exceeded 10MPa and 25MPa, respectively. Precise awareness of the concrete strength development was, therefore, critical to the swift progression of each pour cycle.

Tensioning strands is also a high-risk activity that can lead to burst anchors, cracked concrete and, worse, safety issues if performed too early. Therefore, the accuracy of the concrete strength measurements was paramount.

The solution

The Mesh sensors and wireless network were easily set up then, for 11 months and 97 concrete pours, reliably collected and wirelessly transmitted data, every 20 minutes, without fail. The 6-month battery life of the Nodes, rugged design and 50+ meter wireless range meant that managing the system during construction was simple.

Using live strength data and AI-enabled predictions, the project team could plan and execute tensioning and striking ahead of up to 24hrs ahead of schedule for every pour. The accurate, temperature-sensitive calculations meant that Careys could tension and strike slabs all year round, without risking burst anchors due to strength overestimates.

Value delivered

  • Saved up to 24hr/pour: scheduling and executing tensioning and striking of every slab pour up to 24hrs sooner than if they had used cubes
  • Improved quality and safety: In-situ, temperature-sensitive, strength calculations are accurate regardless of the weather conditions. Year-round, Careys could tension slabs, confident that anchors would not burst; reducing the risk of compromising the quality of the slabs whilst safeguarding those on site. The project was without incident over 30,000m^2 of concrete poured
  • Eliminated reliance on site cubes: ConcreteDNA automated concrete testing; reducing the man-hours invested in preparing, curing and crushing cubes. Delays caused by low-cube strengths resulting from poor cube preparation were eliminated and the project team could focus on managing the project rather than chasing cube results.

More Case Studies

Facts and Figures

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