Canadian Consulting Engineer

AI tools aim to limit cement use and emissions

November 3, 2021

They use sensing technology and predictive modelling.

SmartRock 3 sensor

Image courtesy Giatec.

Ottawa-based Giatec has developed two artificial intelligence (AI) programs, Roxi and SmartMix, to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from the mixing of concrete for the construction industry.

Every year, 20 billion tons of concrete are produced globally, yielding some 2 billion tons of GHG emissions, accounting for 8% of total global carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution. By using sensing technology and predictive modelling, Roxi and SmartMix can reportedly reduce these emissions by up to 20%.

Developed with funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) and the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP), Roxi is reportedly the first AI algorithm created for concrete testing. It is used with Giatec’s SmartRock 3 sensor (pictured) to help predict concrete properties, detect anomalies in performance, optimize mixtures and reduce overall cement use.

“Roxi enables a significant reduction of concrete’s CO2 footprint,” says Andrew Fahim, Giatec’s director of research and development (R&D). “This is evident when comparing our data for mixtures produced in Canada, the U.S. and European markets and the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) benchmark versus algorithmic suggestions for mixtures to meet the same compressive strength classes.”

SmartMix, meanwhile, is a web-based dashboard for Roxi, enabling producers to adjust the proportions of mixes and predict how such changes influence concrete performance in terms of compressive strength or other criteria.


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