Sarah McGuire

Sarah McGuire

Senior Director SmartRock Plus Division at Giatec | Smart Concrete Testing Technologies. Passionate about concrete and bringing Giatec's revolutionary technology to the industry for all to benefit from. Giatec Scientific Inc., is revolutionizing the construction industry by bringing smart concrete testing technologies and real-time data collection to the forefront of every jobsite. We are bringing long-overdue change to a conservative industry by addressing the current challenges in concrete testing, analysis, design, and production.
Sarah McGuire

Sarah McGuire

Senior Director SmartRock Plus Division at Giatec | Smart Concrete Testing Technologies. Passionate about concrete and bringing Giatec's revolutionary technology to the industry for all to benefit from. Giatec Scientific Inc., is revolutionizing the construction industry by bringing smart concrete testing technologies and real-time data collection to the forefront of every jobsite. We are bringing long-overdue change to a conservative industry by addressing the current challenges in concrete testing, analysis, design, and production.

Self-Healing Concrete – Embedding Self-Activating Bacteria

Apart from water, concrete is the most widely produced and consumed material on earth, according to a WBCSD report. This material is what paves our roads, spans our bridges and builds our buildings. It is a leading carbon emitter that goes unnoticed even though it surrounds us every day. In India for instance, it is estimated that its current cement output is responsible for 8% of the total global emissions. Concrete is defined as a mixture of aggregates, water and cement which is made up of a hydraulic powder material. Due to its innate durability, thermal resistance and easily-sourced raw materials, there are no likely alternative building materials that will be taking its place on a large scale in the foreseeable future. As such, one important innovative focus has been on increasing the lifespan of this incredibly useful and widely…

Bendable Concrete – A Stronger, More Durable Concrete

Increased Tensile Strength with Flexible Concrete Typical concrete is characterised by its heavy, brittle qualities which lends itself to breakage under tension. To combat this, Nanyang Technological University scientists from the NTU-JTC Industrial Infrastructure Innovation Centre (13C) have invented a new type of concrete called the ConFlexPave. What makes this innovation superior is that it is bendable and yet stronger and longer lasting than regular concrete. With utilization of this new revolutionary concrete comes a drastic reduction in the time required for road works and new pavements as it allows for the creation of slim precast pavement slabs for speedy installation. As it is more sustainable than regular concrete, it further requires less maintenance. Stated by NTU Professor Chu Jian, Interim Co-Director of the NTU-JTC I3C, “We developed a new type of concrete that can greatly reduce the thickness and…

High Modulus of Elasticity for High Rise Structures

Modulus of elasticity (MOE) in concrete refers to the measurement of resistance a concrete structure has to deform or sway. That is, it measures the stiffness of the concrete. This measurement is used for high rise buildings, bridge piers, and other structural applications where the stiffness of the concrete is of essential importance. The Wanda Vista Towers building project located in Chicago is a perfect example of where high MOE requirements come into play. Upon completion, this skyscraper will be 1,140 feet tall with 95 floors and the core of the structure – elevators, emergency stairs and utilities will all be encased in concrete walls. As such, having a high level of stiffness in the concrete mixture, or high MOE, is crucial in minimizing building sway due to wind. In the US, the MOE value is measured in pounds per…

DOTs are Using Hydro Technology to Repair Concrete Structures

The Utah Department of Transportation is using a recyclable resource to repair worn bridges along one of the busier highways in Salt Lake County. On Friday, the agency exhibited an inventive system of high-pressure water jets to repair bridge decks on the $105 million I-215 project. This is the first time the process has been employed in the Salt Lake Valley. Hydro demolition will allow crews to be more detailed while restoring the bridge, which saves time and money, explained UDOT project manager Oanh Le-Spradlin. “While we are reconstructing I-215 with all-new concrete pavement, we also want to preserve what we have where possible,” she said. “Utilizing an innovative tool like hydro demolition helps us accomplish that on several bridges without spending the money on a complete rebuild.” Le-Spradlin said the hydro demolition technique is being used to remove the…

Modifying the Microstructure of Concrete to Decrease Emissions

An MIT-led team has defined the nanoscale forces that control how particles pack together during the development of cement “paste,” the material that holds together concrete and causes that ubiquitous construction material to be a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. By monitoring those forces, the researchers will now be able to adjust the microstructure of the hardened cement paste, reducing pores and other sources of weakness to make concrete stronger, stiffer, more fracture-resistant, and longer-lasting. Results from the researchers’ simulations explain experimental measurements that have puzzled observers for decades, and they may guide the way to other improvements, such as adding polymers to fill the pores and recycling waste concrete into a binder material, reducing the need to make new cement. Each year, the world produces 2.3 cubic yards of concrete for every person on earth, in the process…

Progress on the Ohio River Bridge Project

Officials with the Ohio River Bridges Project just recently released the latest batch of aerial photos, showing the progress of the bridge as of June. Michael McKay, a spokesman for the project and associate account manager with Louisville-based Guthrie/Mayes Public Relations, stated that the bulk of the work on the bridge, which remains unnamed, is scheduled to be finished in December. McKay said that the crew is be spending the rest of the summer building the structural steel span connecting the two sides over the river by fall. McKay also stated that the cable-stays, which support the weight of the bridge, also are being installed, and that installation will continue throughout the summer. Concrete deck panels also will be installed on the main span of the bridge this summer. According to McKay crews completed blasting for the tunnels, on the…

Seattle Concrete Tunnel Project is Beginning to Take Shape

Portions of the vast Highway 99 tunnel are starting to look like the double-decker thoroughfare that former Gov. Chris Gregoire promised seven years ago. Bertha’s recent progress along the Seattle waterfront — some 1,500 feet since diving below the Alaskan Way Viaduct on April 29 — has allowed crews to pour concrete walls and foundations for road decks. The giant tunnel-boring machine is currently stopped for inspection and replacement of some of its 75-pound steel cutting teeth, below Spring Street just west of First Avenue. Meanwhile, workers at Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP) are slowly extending the decks north from the south portal in Sodo. First, they drill holes in the 57-foot diameter tube, and insert U-shaped pieces of rebar steel on each side. These help to anchor and fasten larger cages of rebar that form the skeleton of the deck…

Construction Software is Heading Toward the Cloud

There is a perception that construction software applications are only affordable and needed by large multinational companies working on billion-dollar jobs. However, Daniel De Monte, President of Toronto’s Flat Iron Building Group, states that is not actually the case. “We’re a boutique construction company,” De Monte says. “We’re not EllisDon or PCL. But we saw the way the economy was changing and things were shifting and we knew we needed to be efficient and communications is a big part of that.” De Monte says it was the logical choice to get with the times. De Monte continues by saying, “we can’t change our methodology in construction — timelines are shrinking, owners and clients are always looking at costs and financing costs. We needed a way to be more efficient, to fast track our ability to do what we do and…

Development in Sustainable Concrete Material

At UCLA an interdisciplinary research team is recycling carbon dioxide in an innovative process to develop sustainable building material. Carbon Upcycling consists of 13 UCLA faculty members, students and staff from various fields such as engineering, chemistry and public policy. “The team works to incorporate carbon dioxide into raw material that can be recycled into sustainable building material”, said Gaurav Sant, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and the team leader. Carbon Upcycling, formed in 2014, entered the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition last month. XPRIZE is a nonprofit organization that designs and manages public competitions intended to encourage technological development that could benefit mankind. The XPRIZE challenges scientists, engineers and other innovators to convert carbon dioxide into valuable products. Winners will be announced in March 2020 and will receive up to $7.5 million each. Each entry is…

Can Future Structures Be Made Out of Bone ?

Researcher at the University of Cambridge are making small batches of the artificial bone and are now in the process of scaling it up for production use. However, the biggest setback is the use of animal collagen. It isn’t exactly eco-friendly – or even sustainable – so the researchers are hoping to perfect the mixture with an artificial collagen to bind with the mineral of the eggshell. The researchers also recognize getting the building industry to use new materials is like pulling teeth and it could be a few decades before the industry is ready to use something like artificial bone to create the next apartment community. Now to some this solution might seem backwards or even sound unusual, but it is a smart move to make. Concrete and steel account for 10 percent of carbon emissions worldwide. Natural materials…

Students Use Concrete 3D Printer to Build Concrete Pavilion

Concrete 3D printing is largely being pushed by small startups, yet the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is using the technology to create some interesting work. Through a collaboration with Dutch company ROHACO, they developed their own remarkably accurate 11 x 5 x 4m concrete 3D printer, which has been in operation since September 2015. Their 3D printer has not been idle since then, and has it is apparent during a big presentation in the Vertigo building of the Department of the Built Environment in Eindhoven. The unveiling of a remarkable 2m tall 3D printed concrete pavilion, was almost completely designed, 3D printed and assembled by a group of students. The remarkable structure is the culmination of several months’ worth of research and testing, and was unveiled to a crowd of over 70 people in Eindhoven. Aside from the pavilion,…

Disrupting the Construction Industry Through Technology

McKinsey & Company has recently released a report that provides in sight on why the construction industry is ripe for disruption. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that the world requires $57 trillion to be spent on infrastructure by 2030 in order to keep up with global GDP growth. The report identified five ways the industry can evolve itself over the next five years, one way is the growth of digital collaboration and mobility. Digital collaboration and mobility Process digitization means moving away from paper and toward online, real-time sharing of information to ensure transparency and collaboration, timely progress and risk assessment, quality control, and, eventually, better and more reliable outcomes. One reason for the industry’s poor productivity record is that it still relies mainly on paper to manage its processes and deliverables such as blueprints, design drawings, procurement and supply-chain…

Recycling Sewage Sludge into Concrete

Wastewater plants in Malaysia face the major challenge of disposing the sludge that is left over from treating sewage water. While studies show that the volume of sludge is expected to rise, disposal options are limited due to strict environmental regulations. Meanwhile, the construction sector seeks economic and ecological cement replacement materials in order to meet the rising demand for concrete. In a study published in the Pertanika Journal of Science and Technology, researchers from Universiti Teknologi MARA investigated the potential to replace various quantities of cement with processed sewage sludge to create a concrete mixture. The researchers first produced domestic waste sludge powder (DWSP). They dried and burnt wet sludge cake to remove moisture, and then ground and filtered the dried sludge cake to make DWSP. Using varying proportions of DWSP (3, 5, 7, 10 and 15%), the researchers…

Learn How Software Helps Construction Operations

Contractors are always on the go — bouncing from jobsites, the office and everywhere in between. Time doesn’t stop on the job, and a project’s deadline won’t freeze to push paperwork. With new innovations from software companies, contractors can bridge the gap between the office and worksite — all while keeping operations running as smoothly as possible and keeping everyone in the loop. “Leveraging a single software platform allows everyone to be on the same page at the same time,” says Paul McKeon, CEO of B2W Software. “Field staff who track production, labor and equipment can also have real-time visibility into the status of equipment moves, scheduled equipment maintenance and repair and job schedules.” McKeon went on to explain “[that] folks involved in scheduling resources have real-time visibility into equipment locations and utilization, can receive needs from job foreman that…

Research in Traffic Management to Help Field Engineers

When drivers face a work zone, they have a choice: go through or go around. But for traffic engineers, this choice represents an awkward problem. How do you forecast the number of drivers who will divert around the work zone versus the number that will go through, in order to create an effective traffic management plan? Eil Kwon, professor at the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), the principal investigator of this study stated, “the capability to accurately estimate the traffic diversion caused by work-zone delays and the capacity reduction associated with lane closures is of critical importance in developing effect traffic management plans. However, the traffic planning models that had been used to address these problems require a very time-consuming process and an extensive origin/destination data set that is not easily available to practicing…

To Increase Economic Growth Countries Needs to Increase Infrastructure

According to a new report from the McKinsey Global Institute the world needs to dramatically ramp up spending on infrastructure to keep up with economic growth. Yet, many major economies are going in the other direction. Researchers estimate the world needs to increase investment by about 0.4% of global output between now and 2030 to meet the increasing demand to move people and goods. That translates into an extra $350 billion of annual spending. The report includes spending on transportation, power, water and telecommunications infrastructure. That is a difficult gap to fill, particularly at a time when the world’s largest economies seem to be in retreat. Many developed country members of the group of 20 major economies are cutting back infrastructure spending after boosting it in the aftermath of the recession. All this comes despite frequent and urgent calls from…

ACI ANNOUNCES NEW CONCRETE REPAIR CODE

The American Concrete Institute announces the availability of the new ACI 562-16: Code Requirements for Evaluation, Repair, and Rehabilitation of Concrete Buildings and Commentary. The code requirements represent a major milestone in the industry—not only is it the first material-specific set of requirements for repair materials, but it also serves as ACI’s first code specifically for repairing reinforced concrete. Included in the requirements are all aspects of concrete repair, from conception to completion, including the basis for compliance, evaluation and analysis, design of structural repairs, durability, and construction. Building specifically on the 2013 edition of ACI 562, revisions to definitions in ACI 562-16 bring this document into conformance with the International Existing Buildings Code and other standards for existing structures. ACI 562-16 also includes the addition of specific criteria requirements for assessment and design of repair and rehabilitation for varying…

Zaha Hadid’s Twisting Concrete Structure Tops Out

The famous international architecture firm, Zaha Hadid, has topped out the twisting skyscraper in Milan. Originally named ‘lo storto’, (‘the twisted one’), the 170 meter structure has been renamed the ‘generali tower’ after the insurance firm who will occupy the building. The base of Hadid’s design will contain a commercial shopping area that connects to Milan’s underground metro system. Above, 39 storeys are dedicated to high-level executive functions, capable of accommodating around 3,200 people. In addition, an underground car park provides space for up to 380 vehicles, helping to alleviate parking issues. The concrete structure contains a central core able to withstand lateral loads, with a radial set of columns allowing the floor plan to twist as it rises — transferring the necessary vertical forces. Sun-shading louvers and a double glazing system, with integrated ventilation, will ensure a comfortable interior…

About Giatec

Giatec is a global company revolutionizing the construction industry by bringing smart testing technologies and real-time data collection to the forefront of every jobsite. Giatec’s suite of hardware and software products has leveraged advanced technologies such as AI and the Internet of Things (IoT), including wireless concrete sensors, mobile apps, and advanced non-destructive technologies (NDT) to drive innovation throughout concrete’s lifecycle and reduce concrete’s carbon footprint.

Our suite of hardware and software products has leveraged advanced technologies such as; Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT), including; wireless concrete sensors, mobile apps, and advanced non-destructive technologies (NDT) to drive innovation throughout concrete’s lifecycle.

Combining wireless concrete sensors and mobile apps, Giatec has developed smart IoT-based technologies, like SmartRock® concrete maturity sensors, for real-time monitoring of concrete properties. This provides critical information to contractors so they can make efficient and informed decisions on the jobsite, ultimately saving time and money. Ready-mix producers also leverage the SmartRock® Plus cloud, which gives them access to concrete performance data to optimize their mix designs.

Wireless Sensors and NDT Technologies

Our suite of hardware and software products has leveraged advanced technologies such as; Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT), including; wireless concrete sensors, mobile apps, and advanced non-destructive technologies (NDT) to drive innovation throughout concrete’s lifecycle.

Combining wireless concrete sensors and mobile apps, Giatec has developed smart IoT-based technologies, like SmartRock® concrete maturity sensors, for real-time monitoring of concrete properties. This provides critical information to contractors so they can make efficient and informed decisions on the jobsite, ultimately saving time and money. Ready-mix producers also leverage the SmartRock® Plus cloud, which gives them access to concrete performance data to optimize their mix designs.

 

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