A successful trial of a digital measuring system for concrete has led to a roll-out across multiple HS2 sites, cutting carbon and driving efficiencies on the construction project.
By utilising on-truck sensors linked to proprietary patented algorithms, VERIFI is the first digital solution to replace manual consistence (e.g. slump) and temperature testing of fresh concrete. This means the concrete truck-mixer tracks itself to the point of delivery, tests itself prior to discharge and auto generates pour records for quality assurance purposes.
Over the last two years, HS2’s main works contractor Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV) has worked with supply chain partners Saint Gobain Construction Chemicals who developed VERIFI, and their concrete supply partners Tarmac and Aggregate Industries to test and validate the system.
A full-scale site trial involving over 20,000m3 of concrete demonstrated accuracy and confidence in the technology, and HS2 Ltd has now approved the roll-out across further sites.
One of the key benefits of the system is the elimination of concrete waste which would have been produced from manual sampling and testing. When the solution is rolled out across BBV’s section of the route, this could result in cutting 1,500 tonnes of carbon.
Analysing the entire volume in the truck instead of spot samples results in improved quality control and more accurate readings. Safety is also improved due to less plant-person interface and manual handling on site.
In addition, it enhances productivity and efficiency by delivering clear digital readouts, eliminating delays associated with sampling and testing processes, which allows for better scheduling and reduces potential bottlenecks in the construction timeline.
Steve Phipps, Head of Materials Engineering at Balfour Beatty VINCI said:
“The initial concept of using this technology to reduce manual testing has been developed into a fully integrated digital monitoring and reporting system between producer and customer.
“It’s very rewarding to have finally implemented this digital solution after a process of trials, validation and approvals, made possible by great teamwork. Now that implementation is underway across our HS2 sites in the Midlands, we will start to see the significant benefits.”
Frederic Guimbal, EVP at Saint Gobain Construction Chemicals said:
“We’re delighted that the adoption of VERIFI represents a significant step forward for the HS2 project, bringing tangible benefits in terms of quality control, productivity, safety, sustainability, planning, reliability, and digitisation.
“This innovative solution demonstrates the power of collaboration and paves the way for the integration of digital methods in future concrete standards across the construction industry.”