Project Spotlight: Civic Quarter & SmartRock2 Sensors

CE Construction Solutions are proud to have partnered with The Elvin Group and Construction Control on delivering a huge technical advance in concrete testing systems for the Civic Quarter project. Engaging with innovations in concrete testing, the SmartRock2 concrete maturity sensors were installed across the entirety of this project. As three companies that value being at the forefront of the technological advancements within the construction industry, it was exciting for all parties to utilise this new IoT innovation and find new ways to unlock the true potential of concrete in construction by creating efficiencies within this the prestigious multi-storey development. 

A SmartRock2 Sensor installed at the Civic Quarter site

The SmartRock2 concrete maturity sensor has been used on more projects than any other sensor in the world. This product combines the trusted International maturity testing method (ASTM C1074-17) with the latest in IoT and Bluetooth technology to create an amazing piece of technology. The SmartRock2 sensors were installed/buried within the slabs of Civic Quarter to monitor the time, temperature, maturity index and strength (MPa) of the element which was then transmitted out of the concrete via Bluetooth to a smartphone. The data is calculated based on a mix calibration and provided an immediate MPa reading for the element surrounding the sensor in real-time then can reply that result directly to multiple project stakeholders via its Cloud based features.

Construction Control Site Manager for the Civic Quarter project Pedro da Silva was happy to offer his feedback on his experiences with the SmartRock2 sensors from an on-site perspective. 

“Elvins came to us and offered them as part of testing, and we ran some trials. I wasn’t sure about them at first. I was definitely sceptical at the start, how could this little piece of plastic in the concrete tell me the strength of my slabs. In the beginning we were checking it all with crushes but after some testing they worked out and now I trust and recommend them”.

Installation of a SmartRock2 sensor by Njoud Williams from the Elvin Group

Over 120 SmartRock2 Sensors were installed across the entire span of the Civic Quarter project. 6 sensors were utilised per level across the 6 basement levels, ground floor and 13 upper level floors. By installing the sensors throughout the element, SmartRock2 is able to provide location specific results at the beginning, middle and end of the pour. Construction Control have been able to monitor the strength gain of the concrete across the entire element in real time directly to their smart phones prior to making any critical construction decisions. 

“There real value is the ability to access live data, you can pour a slab today and know what strengths you’re getting straight away. We don’t have to wait and rely on third parties to crush cylinders to make decisions, I have real-time information on my phone.”

A smartphone reading the SmartRock2 sensor on site at Civic Quarter

When looking at Australian Standards, AS3600 offers some insight into a procedure for early age concrete testing stating that “If specified… Control test-samples shall be taken at a minimum frequency of one sample of each 50m3, or part thereof, of a concrete grade placed on any one day and the sample specimens stored and cured under conditions similar to those of the concrete in the work” (AS3600 17.6.2.8 Control Test).

It is the inability to create these similar conditions for storage and curing which makes crushing cylinders for early age results inaccurate and potentially dangerous. This is partly due to a concrete sample cylinder having a large surface area and a small volume of concrete which quickly loses heat. When compared to a concrete element which not only generates heat through the hydration process but retains that heat throughout the its thermal mass. Besides the lack of accuracy in the data provided by early age cylinders they are also a general representation of the concrete and not providing data on the specific locations of critical action such as stressing PT or landing pre-cast elements the following day. When you combine this with the wait to obtain 1-day test results it’s easy to see where the concerns for safety and lost time can occur.

“I don’t know how much time we saved over the course of the project because we were able to stop waiting on crushes. All I know is that we were able to get onto our slabs and start PT and other works as soon as we could, way before we would have gotten crush information back from the labs”.

Concrete Placement: The Elvin Group and CPS Concrete Group

“I’ve told everyone about them, they’re actually using them on another large project of ours just around the corner now. It would be silly not to use them on every project now.”

CE’s General Manager Dan Rowley has seen first hand the race to embrace this technology.

“It’s been great seeing the journey we go on for each new SmartRock2 project. There is always a little apprehension about using a sensor buried in concrete and Bluetooth connections to a Smartphone for testing concrete. After the first few pours the fear disappears and everyone sees the safety, power and potential that Maturity Testing and SmartRock can provide. With regular feedback of a day per level timeline saving and the ability to access and share data from the element 24/7 whenever you desire, its easy to see why SmartRock2 is building an ever growing following of raving fans.”

“SmartRock2 takes a 40 year old proven International concrete test method in ASTM C1074, combines it with the latest in IoT advances and unlocks the true protentional of a concrete structure.”

At CE we are driving to help you work safer, smarter and faster. This is just another example of the ways in which we strive to make your project the best it can be.

Click here to read our article on the concrete maturity method.

If you are interested in using the SmartRock2 sensors within an upcoming project of yours, contact CE Construction Solutions for more information.