Balfour Beatty Vinci adopts digital concrete testing on HS2

The Verifi system has been found to enhance efficiency, reduce concrete waste and cut carbon output

A digital measuring system for concrete, Verifi, has been successfully trialled by Balfour Beatty Vinci across the HS2 project. The firm said the success of the trial will see the roll-out of the product across several HS2 sites, in a bid to enhance efficiency and reduce carbon output on the project.

The digital measuring system is said to enable real-time monitoring, measurement, and management of fresh concrete properties during transportation. It also optimises planning and coordination through GPS tracking of vehicles equipped with the technology. The real-time tracking capability improves the management of concrete delivery, in addition to enhancing logistical processes on-site, the firm explained.

“The initial concept of using this technology to reduce manual testing has been developed into a fully integrated digital monitoring and reporting system between producer and customer. It’s very rewarding to have finally implemented this digital solution after a process of trials, validation and approvals, made possible by great teamwork. Now that implementation is underway across our HS2 sites in the Midlands, we will start to see the significant benefits,” stated Steve Phipps, Head of Materials Engineering at Balfour Beatty Vinci.

Over the last two years, Balfour Beatty Vinci worked with supply chain partners Saint Gobain Construction Chemicals who developed Verifi, and their concrete supply partners Tarmac and Aggregate Industries to test and validate the system. The company said that the full-scale site trial involving over 20,000m3 of concrete, demonstrated “accuracy and confidence in the technology”. HS2 Ltd has now approved the roll-out across further sites.

One of the main benefits of the system is the elimination of concrete waste, which would have been produced from manual sampling and testing. It also 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, the firm added.

Frederic Guimbal, EVP at Saint Gobain Construction Chemicals concluded, “We’re delighted that the adoption of VERIFI represents a significant step forward for the HS2 project, bringing tangible benefits in terms of quality control, productivity, safety, sustainability, planning, reliability, and digitisation. This innovative solution demonstrates the power of collaboration and paves the way for the integration of digital methods in future concrete standards across the construction industry.”

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