Concrete production leads to high greenhouse gas emissions but is essential for the construction industry worldwide. ACCIONA has now developed an app that ensures full control of the entire process, from production to the concrete being cast. The result is higher quality, less wastage, lower cost and reduced CO2 emissions.
- To be able to document that the concrete holds the quality we promise, we saw a clear need to monitor all steps of the process. In addition to being able to document the quality, the new technology also provides several other positive synergy effects, such as reduced costs and CO2 emissions, says Ignacio Calvo, Innovation & Digital
Transformation Director of ACCIONA´s Construction business.
In-house developed real-time technology
It is estimated that the world's concrete use annually is 12.5-14 billion cubic meters - which makes concrete the world's most used building material. Concrete is very versatile but requires very short delivery time and proper handling. If it takes too long from production to use, or if it is handled incorrectly, the quality will deteriorate. In the worst case, the concrete must be destroyed, which leads to unnecessarily high emissions and costs.
- Concrete is unfortunately a fragile material before it is cast. Even small errors during shipping and handling can degrade quality. To guarantee top quality of the concrete we deliver, we have developed an app that monitors everything that happens in real-time from production to transport and to the final delivery, says Calvo.
Developed for project in Moss
The app has been developed and tested in connection with the work on a new double-track for Bane NOR on the section Sandbukta - Moss - Såstad. In Norway, a Joint Venture of ACCIONA and Implenia Norge AS. Extra high demands are placed on the quality of the concrete, due to changing weather conditions and low temperatures. This also applied to the project in Moss.
- The app can be considered a quality stamp on the concrete used in the project. High-quality concrete will last a long time and withstand a great deal . It provides security for the client, but it also means extra security for the end-user. Thanks to this app, both we, the client and travellers can be sure that the quality of the concrete keeps pace, says Calvo.
ACCIONA now wants to use the technology in several projects, both in Norway and other countries. Among other things, the company is looking at the possibility of using the app in the asphalting work on the E6 Ranheim-Værnes, as asphalt has similar challenges as concrete.
Reduced wastage and CO2 emissions
About 90% of CO2 emissions from concrete come from cement. During production, 700-800 kg of CO2 are emitted per ton of pure cement. Thus, it is crucial that the concrete produced has a long life to reduce the need for new cement production. In addition, it is important that the concrete produced can actually be used.
In any project there is waste of concrete due to inefficiencies and several other reasons. Minimizing them contributes to reduce costs and CO2 emissions.
Calvo says that in the future it will be even more important to think about climate adaptation in building and construction projects. In the future, climate change will lead to more frequent extreme weather, which will place higher demands on the use of materials.
- We believe this technology will become increasingly important. The use of high-quality concrete will reduce the need for rehabilitation, which will save society both cost and CO2 emissions in the years to come, concludes Calvo.