Quality Management of Concrete Construction by Digitalizing the Process Chain from Batching Plant to Building

Recently in Finland, a series of incidents with poor concrete quality related to entrained air received lots of attention not only among experts in concrete industry and research but as well in public media and the Finnish society. These incidents resulted in major economic consequences and called into question current quality management practices applied on the construction site. Enquiries showed that concrete with insufficient quality could not be identified and rejected before casting due to deficiencies in quality control and the current manual testing procedures. Therefore, the Finnish concrete industry together with experts from research communities and academia started looking for a new quality management of fresh and young concrete by utilizing digital solutions, sensing technologies and new developments in data management and integrity. In order to digitalize the entire process chain it is necessary to measure crucial material properties during mixing, transporting, pumping, casting and curing of the concrete. Established sensing technologies are combined with novel applications that are currently under development. It is of particular importance that the concrete quality is followed through the entire process, starting in the batching plant and followed up until the concrete reaches a predefined age in the structure. Consequently, many stakeholders will produce, share and receive data to promote quality control and assurance. The integrity and liability of the data is secured based on blockchain technology. The data can be integrated into building information models (BIMs) as part of new approaches in adding as-built information in realtime into BIM platforms and thereby supporting decision-making of architects, engineers and building experts in the construction process.

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