HS2 adopts hi-tech digital concrete testing

Pioneering technology enables real-time monitoring, measurement and management of fresh concrete properties during transportation

A successful trial of a ground-breaking digital measuring system for concrete has led to a roll-out across multiple HS2 sites, cutting carbon and driving efficiencies on the construction project.

VERIFI is a technology that enables real-time monitoring, measurement and management of fresh concrete properties during transportation.

By utilising on-truck sensors linked to proprietary patented algorithms, VERIFI replaces manual consistence 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 its 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 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.

HS2’s materials and durability lead, Jon Knights, said: “This is a fantastic example of how HS2, working collaboratively with supply chain partners, can provide the ideal testbed for cutting-edge technologies. 

“As the UK’s largest infrastructure project, it’s a great step forward for HS2 Ltd to formally supplement this digital surveillance technology with manual consistence and temperature testing of fresh concrete to reduce waste and increase safety and productivity.

“We have set big ambitions to drastically cut carbon as we build HS2, and digital surveillance solutions support us on this journey, not only bringing multiple benefits to the project, but paving the way for a new era in the construction industry.”

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