LafargeHolcim and IBM join forced to optimise road design
Building materials firm LafargeHolcim teams up with leading technology giant IBM to slash road costs and emissions through technology.
The companies have worked together to produce a system called Oris which aims to slash road project costs by a third whilst cutting emissions by half in many scenarios. The system also carries the ability to triple road durability and lifespans, leading to lower costs and less maintenance long-term.
One of the primary goals of the project is to reduce any inefficiencies that may arise when building roads using traditional methods.
The digital solution is set to help decrease carbon levels which are caused by the construction of roads, which is a complex challenge. The system will help select the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective technologies and building materials at the beginning of the design phase. The selection of these will differ with each project due to varying climates, terrain vehicle types and the volume of traffic for each project.
LafargeHolcim’s region head of Europe and member of the executive committee with responsibility on a global level, Marcel Cobuz, said: “We are accelerating the digitalisation of our solutions for sustainable and high-performance construction”.
He then went on to say: “With global solutions like ORIS, we are committed to leading the way in low-carbon and circular construction as well as responsible natural resource consumption for roads and beyond. We have already entered into pilots with different partners such as road authorities, international financing institutions and engineering firms to use ORIS in both developed and emerging markets.”
LafargeHolcim will use IBM’s wide portfolio of digital solutions and expertise in areas such as AI and analytics in order to further boost its knowledge surrounding building materials, particularly cement and ready-mix concrete solutions.
Hervé Rolland, Vice President, Industrial Solutions at IBM Europe said: “Oris is instrumental in recommending appropriate and tailored approaches to road-building, thus minimising costs, environmental impacts and project delays.”
Robotics startup Canvas secures $24 million funding
The financing included strategic investment by Suffolk Construction with participation from Alumni Ventures Group and existing investors Innovation Endeavors, Brick & Mortar Ventures, Obvious Ventures, and Grit Labs.
Canvas plans to use the funds to accelerate its ability to transform construction work by bringing robotics into the built environment, starting with drywall finishing.
Advancements in robotics technology have been stymied in construction due to the complexity of the ever-changing job site environment - but Canvas claims technology it has invented now makes it possible to bring it to the industry.
By enabling skilled trade workers with a new class of tool, Canvas helps customers deliver control over schedules and safer working conditions.
"Since our launch last fall, we've seen incredible demand for the Canvas system and our unique ability to set the bar on quality, safety, and predictability," said Kevin Albert, CEO and Co-founder of Canvas.
Canvas has started by focusing on drywall finishing, one of the most labor-intensive, unpredictable, and congested parts of the construction process. The company's approach combines the skills and expertise of trained union workers with robotics technology.
"At Suffolk, we pride ourselves on redefining what is possible by innovating, investing, and building – we therefore share an aligned worldview with Canvas," said Jit Kee Chin, Chief Data and Innovation Officer and Executive Vice President at Suffolk.
Wan Li Zhu, Managing Director of Suffolk Technologies, said: "We are excited to partner with Canvas in creating a safer and more productive construction process where people and machines work together seamlessly and collaboratively to deliver at the highest quality levels."