Industrial Construction: The Secret to Helping Clients Shorten Schedules and Increase Profit Margins
Time is money, or so they say. In the industrial world, this adage comes alive through two seemingly unrelated factors: concrete maturity and construction delays. Concrete needs to be fully matured before moving forward with construction. Any delay in this process can delay the schedule, which can delay the delivery, which can keep a manufacturer from starting revenue-generating operations. Main takeway: improper monitoring of concrete maturation can be costly. It is important to note, however, that you cannot rush the process. Immature concrete and rushed construction were factors in what is often thought to be the largest construction accident in the U.S.
How it Works
When you pour concrete, there are design mix specifications that must be met and reviewed by project engineers. These mixes are made to withstand certain pressures and must be properly cured before the remainder of a job can be completed. If the concrete has not properly cured, adding steel or driving a scissor lift over top of it may cause the foundation to fail or crack.
For many years, concrete maturity has been verified by isolated test cylinders, however there are two major issues with this testing process:
1. In-place concrete reacts differently than smaller test cylinders because of its mass. Quick science lesson: Concrete gains strength in warm temperatures. The greater the mass, the higher the curing temperatures. Because test cylinders are so small, people often assume these samples are slower representations of the in-place concrete. Meaning, if the sample has cured, the in-place concrete must have also cured. This is not always the case.
2. It can take days to hear back from a testing facility and those days are spent waiting, not making construction progress. Over the course of a project, one and two-day periods add up. Those delays are passed onto the owner who may not be able to begin operations as planned.
The Big Reveal
What if instead, you could gain a few days every pour? Add those up and you could save two weeks on your construction schedule. You’d have ample time to address any unforeseen circumstances and clients could occupy the building sooner to start generating profits.
Today, that’s a possibility. New advancements in concrete maturity technology allow for real-time data extraction. Temperature probes in the in-place concrete record maturity levels 24/7 so if concrete cures faster than initially planned, you can safely schedule the next phase – no delays.
This is a technology that can be useful to any contractor. In the field, there are so many variables out of our control. If we understand the areas we can control and use the information to positively influence the future, we can accelerate the schedule to provide a win-win scenario for Rockford and our clients.