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Digital technology improves concrete flooring pours

The Forge, a new office block being constructed in the London borough of Southwark, is pioneering Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) methods to improve construction times and quality. The project uses digital technology to improve concrete flooring pours.

DfMA is a method of designing and constructing a building more efficiently, quickly and sustainably. Elements of a building are manufactured off site using standard specifications and designs. DfMA construction saves materials, uses less energy and carbon, and reduces waste. In the Forge project, developer Landsec says the DfMA system reduced steel usage by 18.4% and concrete by 13%. There was a 25% reduction in carbon emissions.

The Forge development uses a range of digital technology including quick response (QR) codes, material tracking and 360-degree photo capture. Internet of Things (IoT) sensors monitored concrete pours and sent live strength data via a wireless system assessed by artificial intelligence (AI). This reduced strike times.

Data monitored during concrete pours is collected with other data from the project to be analysed by researchers at Cambridge University. It is hoped that their research finding will result in ways to increase construction productivity.

The data from the Forge and other projects is made anonymous and then shared with the Construction Data Trust, which will make it available to other contractors They can use this information to benchmark and improve their construction productivity.

The Forge is expected to be completed in 2023 following delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, supply chain issues and shortage of resources.

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