Midwest Formwork was contracted to build a new contemporary 144-apartment development in Manchester’s up-and-coming New Cross District. With the project being in a busy and congested area, the need for efficiency was paramount in meeting a project timeline of 7 days per pour. Midwest Formwork started off using day 4/5 cubes. Having cubes tested both on-site and in-lab proved to be a challenge due to the slow progress of in-lab cube testing which amounted to less accurate results.
When curing concrete in their fluctuating weather, often with conditions dropping below 0°C, the team at Midwest Formwork found it was crucial to track the temperature history to ensure desired compressive strength was reached, and formwork was removed as soon as possible to save on labor and other related costs. Their primary method for testing concrete strength required their team to crush their cubes every hour until target strength was achieved. However, strength was often not achieved even by the 7th day, leaving an unproductive jobsite, behind schedule.
Midwest Formwork chose to implement SmartRock™ wireless concrete sensors along with the Giatec 360™ web platform to collect real-time data for their in-situ concrete and achieve their required strength faster. SmartRock sensors are designed to give real-time measurements to ensure efficient and accurate concrete temperature and maturity readings for a more precise curing process, enabling the team to move on to the next steps earlier than expected.
For every 500m3 of concrete, they required 17 cubes to be poured and crushed, recording results in 1-hour intervals. Each batch of 17 cubes, their testing, and their reporting, individually cost the project £315.00 + VAT. SmartRock’s real-time data was seen as more efficient and eventually replaced the traditional cube test results entirely. Relying on sensor data and avoiding delays with the lab allowed the team to make informed decisions about their formwork removal and regain any lost time. Going even further, they were able to avoid laborious transportation of the samples to the lab through the famously congested city.
The original lab testing method stated a requirement of 7 days for the concrete to reach the desired compressive strength, and during colder days, even longer. However, the SmartRock sensor data revealed the concrete pours need only an average-5-day-course to reach the desired compressive strength (30MPa). With SmartRock’s real-time data, the team was able to make faster decisions in the curing of their concrete. Midwest Formwork was able to cut down on this wasted time saving on labor, the cost of cubes, and 2 days per pour.
At the time of this case study, Midwest Formwork has six remaining pours through implementing Giatec’s products and systems. However, with current results, the team is on track to completing the project earlier than expected.