Reaching the Goal Faster: How to Shorten Your Project Time By Up To 30 Percent

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Long waiting times are the killer of every construction site. This is especially true for concrete casting because the compressive strength of the concrete is usually tested in the laboratory. Until the results are available, nothing happens, resulting in a significant reduction in productivity. At the same time, the maturing process could well be so far advanced that the formwork can already be removed. With concrete monitoring, you can check the progress yourself and massively reduce the construction time. The way to more productivity is as simple as that.
Alarming figures: Labor productivity in the construction industry is below average compared with the economy as a whole. And this in an industry that is increasingly under cost and time pressure. According to the “Zukunft Bau” study by the Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim, average annual productivity growth in the German construction industry was only around 0.12 percent between the years 1997 and 2015. In France and Italy, productivity actually declined.  This need not be the case, as digitization in particular offers numerous opportunities for improving and accelerating processes. This has a direct impact on project duration and thus also on cost efficiency. This is very well illustrated by the example of compressive strength testing of concrete.

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How is compressive strength usually measured?

Compressive strength testing is carried out in the laboratory using specimens specially prepared for this purpose ( ). These are either concrete cylinders that are 30 cm long and have a diameter of 15 cm, or test cubes with an edge length of 15 cm. According to the DIN standard for structures made of normal, light, heavy, prestressed and high-strength concrete, this is done 28 days after casting. The strength class is then expressed in N/mm² according to the maximum pressure withstood – for example as concrete C20/25 for Concrete with 20 N/mm² for the cylinder and 25 N/mm² for the cube.

Waiting for laboratory values can extend construction time

In practice, however, the compressive strength may well be reached well before the specified time. This is because the maturing process depends, among other things, on the hydration temperature and the weather. Waiting for lab results then leads to unnecessary delays. After all, stripping or re-tensioning could well be done ahead of time, which would significantly shorten the construction time. Instead, the construction site is at a standstill, which is not only inefficient but also expensive. Every delay costs money and ties up unnecessary resources and manpower. Moreover, it is very difficult to make up for. It’s not for nothing that major projects are often 80 percent over budget and 20 months behind schedule.

With concrete monitoring, you take control

Thanks to smart innovations, such delays are a thing of the past. ConcR’s IoT sensors, for example, are attached to the reinforcement or formwork and analyze the progress of curing on site in the concrete. The data is backed up in the cloud-based ConcR portal and can be accessed from any internet-enabled device. The temperature and strength information provides specific predictions of when the required compressive strength will be reached. The sensor can be used in any type of concrete component.

Reduction of construction time by up to 30 percent

The reliable values in real time open up unimagined possibilities for advancing the construction progress. The time for stripping or post-tensioning is no longer determined by the laboratory, but by the site manager on the basis of the actual compressive strength. And that can save up to a third of the time – an invaluable cost factor that can become a significant competitive advantage.

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