Concrete industry tackling greenhouse gas issues
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One of the knocks against concrete as a building material is the high environmental impact from its production.
The nearly $400 billion market is one of the largest producers of greenhouse gases, contributing up to 6 percent of global carbon emissions due to the use of cement, the fundamental part of a concrete mix.
But soon builders may be able to use concrete with a clear conscience if two companies have their way, thanks to new mobile technology that could also speed up concrete construction through better monitoring while it cures.
Manufacturers have been working to reduce their carbon footprint for years, with little success. Unless things change – and quickly – concrete companies are unlikely to make the necessary progress outlined in the Paris agreement of the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in 2015.
Canadian company Giatec, which offers wireless concrete sensors and mobile apps for real-time monitoring of concrete properties has partnered with ready-mix producer Thomas Concrete to help drive industry change.
With the use of Smart Concrete, a system which allows producers to monitor the strength of concrete with mobile technology, the carbon footprint of cement companies can be minimized.
Giatec officials hope that with the use of their smart IoT technologies, which provide smart monitoring and intelligent analysis of collected data during design, the company can, in turn, become greener – urging other firms across the continent to follow suit.
“For too long, the concrete industry has been a silent but deadly villain in contributing to global warming," said Dr. Aali R. Alizadeh, PhD, P.Eng and co-founder and CEO of Giatec. "But it is also a vital material we need for building our roads and buildings. We at Giatec believe that fast-evolving wireless sensor technology can provide solutions, not merely for saving money during long construction projects. With the use of Smart Concrete, concrete producers can reduce the cement required for a concrete mix, in turn minimizing their carbon footprint."
Smart Concrete is a solution offered by Giatec through concrete producers that enables contractors to monitor the strength of early-age concrete in real-time using mobile technology. The partnership between Giatec and Thomas Concrete also hopes to save money and time on projects with the use mobile technology to provide critical information to contractors for making efficient decisions on the jobsite.