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The Power of Partnership

23.10.2023 | Press
As two companies with extensive experience in the Middle East, particularly in Dubai, where both have been operating for well over twenty years, it was only a matter of time before Doka Gulf and ALEC E&C’s paths would cross and discover some of the time, cost and safety benefits each organisation’s respective investments in technology have yielded.

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As one of the region’s largest and most respected main contractors, ALEC is a company whose track record speaks for itself.

In 2017, the two companies began a closer working relationship. During that time, Doka began sharing several of its time and cost-saving products and services, including its in-situ remote compressive strength measuring device, Concremote.

Concremote was designed to provide three significant benefits on-site as a sensor-based product. Firstly, to monitor the early age compressive strength gain of concrete, allowing site teams to monitor critical path activities, reduce cycle times and help accurately calculate formwork quantities for the most economical concrete mix designs. Secondly, to enable the monitoring of temperature development in mass concrete structures and finally, to help achieve unified concrete colour tones for projects.

As one of the first digital collaborative projects to feature Concremote, ALEC had set out to understand two things. Firstly, if the IoT-based sensor would successfully replace the current method of early-age cube crushing for concrete early strength verification, and secondly, real-time, accurate information on the early age strength development of beams that supported the earliest installation of the precast slabs and early formwork stripping. In line with the project program, the schedule required the concrete structure works to be completed in nine months, meaning a floor-to-floor cycle of 11 days for typical levels. To achieve this, the concrete would be required to reach 70 per cent strength in three days to receive the precast slabs, a timetable that would typically require a higher-strength concrete mix design.

Starting with the concrete mix, Concremote proved through its calibration that the originally specified mix would achieve the desired turnaround, making the use of a higher-grade mix redundant, thereby helping to save immediate costs and reduce carbon-dioxide emissions.

Over the project period, Concremote helped to ensure the early stripping of formwork, thereby optimising the use of the material while reducing rental overheads. From a quality point of view, Concremote helped enable real-time and temperature monitoring to avoid cracks during curing and a more reliable method of overall concrete monitoring thanks to the data being recorded in situ.

From a high level, Concremote's forecasting feature allowed ALEC to predict the development of compressive strength, enabling site teams to plan the follow-on activities, while its real-time notification system via email and SMS meant direct and immediate access to valuable data.

In meeting sustainability targets, Concremote was also able to help reduce the project’s carbon footprint, yielding a total saving of 7 per cent on cement (4 per cent on CEM 1 and 3 per cent on CEM 2) by avoiding a higher cement mix to achieve the desired cycle. At the same time, its digital interface meant an entirely paperless reporting system.

Since 2017, ALEC has generated 2552 ideas out of which 567 got implemented as innovative business solutions within its operations. 504 ideas were generated, and 96 ideas were implemented in 2022 alone. This stands as a testament to ALEC’s progressive vision and commitment to growth across its business verticals. Approximately 500 unique innovators get involved on an annual basis in ALEC's innovation programs which underscores ALEC's innovative culture within the business.

Speaking on behalf of ALEC, Innovation Manager Imad Itani commented, "In working with Doka and its Concremote technology, we were able to save money on the concrete mix and throughout the project thanks to its two-day reduction in casting cycles. In addition to its other value-added benefits, we've improved the quality and safety of concrete in the project, meaning an optimised project for us as a contractor and an optimised outcome for our client.”

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