Innovation That Matters

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Using AI to design out excess concrete

Property & Construction

The tool provides engineers with a range of options that all meet local building regulations

Spotted: Global macroeconomic activity is putting pressure on the world’s construction industry, with growth in many regions slowing and in other areas, reversing. One method contractors and owners can use to mitigate the volatility of markets and rising costs of supplies is to reduce the amount of materials used in a build. 

Many in the construction industry believe that concrete structures are frequently ‘over-designed’, meaning too much concrete is used for the purpose of the building. Constraints on time are one of the main reasons that this happens, as architects and builders would rather overdesign for safety than not use enough. 

Israeli construction technology company Structure Pal has an intelligent solution. An artificial-intelligence-powered (AI) software tool provides structural engineers, project managers and designers with a range of options for the use of concrete in a project. From the type of concrete to placement and volume needed, the tool helps to reduce costs and the amount of concrete used by around 15 per cent. Use of the tool can cut design time in half, and by the end of a build, the tool can reduce construction carbon emissions by up to 30 per cent. 

Designers integrate the tool into their usual building information modelling (BIM) platforms, and the AI analyses the many different configurations possible. Structure Pal’s system provides options for different loads on different levels, recommends the minimum number of columns for the required slab thickness, and ensures that each iteration of a design includes and meets local building code requirements. The Structure Pal team estimates that the software can do in one hour what it would take a civil engineer to do in four weeks. 

Structure Pal offers four levels of access to the tool. There is a pay-per-project option that costs $2 (around €1.88) per square metre of a floor plan, and for larger businesses, companies can pay per 100,000 square metres, with the option to pay in advance for future projects to receive the largest discount. 

Other recent innovations in concrete Springwise as spotted in the database include a light-sensitive concrete that cleans the air in road tunnels and an AI tool that optimises concrete use based on what other materials will be used in a build.

Written By: Keely Khoury




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