Those who are working in civil engineering projects face different challenges every day. One of the major challenges they face is delivering a project on time and within budget. Budgets can often be very tight on civil engineering projects. For those who are working on it, it is important to understand, plan accordingly, but still ensure that the quality and safety of the project meets the highest possible standards.
Over the years, new techniques and products have been developed, allowing civil engineering projects to be completed faster and with less money. One such product is a class of materials known as geosynthetic cementitious composite mats or GCCM. Concrete Canvas Ltd. developed this unique product based on the work of their two founders while at university in the early 2000’s. GCCMs are now being created for global use, Concrete canvas Many civil engineering projects have been able to help achieve their goals when it is more affordable than traditional concrete solutions poured or sprayed. So, is there any area where money can be saved using GCCM compared to conventional concrete?
Time spent on site
One of the most expensive components of a civil engineering project is the time spent on site. It covers both the cost of potential disruption to work, such as for an excavation facility or part of a rail network, including labor costs. The key to cost control in this case is how fast the project can be completed. The sooner a project is completed, the lower the labor cost and the removal of site obstructions will allow the business to continue.
With conventional concrete, the installation time can be slow due to various defects with the concrete. First, the concrete has to be mixed on site, it takes time and then spraying or pouring the concrete can be ineffective, excess concrete can be wasted and unusable.
GCCM has none of these issues. Reaching the site as the roll is ready to be installed, it does not require any mixing and can be installed at the rate of 200m² per hour. It is ten times faster than conventional concrete. Furthermore, since the GCCMs are cut to the size of the site, there is no unusable extra waste. GCCMs are fully usable just 24 hours after hydration and installation, which significantly reduces the time to complete a project.
Organizing logistics around a civil engineering project can be difficult at times. In order to complete a project, many different organizations often work in partnership and it takes a lot of planning to coordinate them around each other. When conventional concrete is used in a project, the complications come from the arrival of materials and the organization of mixing tools and then from working in the area when the concrete dries.
Using GCCM, this process has been significantly simplified. No specialist mixing machines need to be organized or brought to the site, so reduce costs. Also, since GCCMs can cover more distances than conventional concrete, for example a single pallet of concrete canvas can cover the same distance of two 6m³ mixing trucks, money can be saved here as well.
Some complex civil engineering projects require specially trained personnel. When working in remote locations, it can be difficult to find trained staff at the required level. With the help of GCCM, since they are easy to install, no specialist equipment or tools are required, no staff training is required for the place where they are installed. This can save on project costs because staff do not have to be sent to training courses or brought from far away.
One major area where civil engineering projects spend money in the long run is the repair of existing installations. Conventional concrete is prone to cracking for a variety of reasons. With GCCM, since their design provides a strong concrete layer thanks to the flexible material from which they are made, they provide a truly strong and durable concrete solution. Concrete canvas has a lifespan of more than 120 years, and it saves money to repair projects compared to the lifespan of traditional concrete, which is sometimes less than 50 years.
Overall, using GCCM, there are several areas where money can be saved on civil engineering projects. The adaptability of this class of materials allows it to be used in projects worldwide and in some remote locations where traditional concrete may not be suitable. In the coming years, with the financial benefits offered by GCCMs, among other benefits, it is not surprising that usage will increase and become more common.