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How to improve road construction, sustainability by experts


Data-driven solutions and digital technologies have the potential to transform road construction for sustainable, low-carbon, low-resource and cost-efficient techniques, experts have said.

This is coming even as LafargeHolcim, in collaboration with IBM Services, has expressed readiness to develop the first digital platform for road design optimisation, ORIS. The solution, according to the firms, can reduce road project costs by up to one-third and carbon emissions by up to half, while tripling road durability and usage lifespans.

Specifically, it allows decision-makers, road infrastructure authorities and project investors to improve road construction and sustainability and reduce inefficiencies through smart project design. This is especially timely as governments design stimulus packages to revive economic activity post COVID-19, while also responding to the impact of climate change.

Investigation reveals that an average of 700,000 kilometres (435,000 miles) of new roads are being built globally every year. Improving road quality and resilience will help reduce the massive amount of carbon emissions attributed to transportation.


Speaking on the development, Region Head of Europe, Member of the Executive Committee with responsibility for innovation at LafargeHolcim, Marcel Cobuz, said: “We are accelerating the digitalization of our solutions for sustainable and high-performance construction.

“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.”

Vice President, Industrial solutions, IBM Europe, Hervé Rolland, said data-driven solutions and digital technologies have the potential to transform road construction towards more sustainable, circular, low-carbon, low-resource and cost-efficient techniques.

According to him, ORIS is instrumental in recommending appropriate and tailored approaches to road-building, thus minimising costs, environmental impacts and project delays.  “IBM Services help businesses establish the right industry-relevant platforms that support rapid digitisation, standardisation and simplification, as well as vertically integrating both industrial and business operations.”

LafargeHolcim will leverage IBM’s portfolio of digital platforms, hybrid clouds, digital design services, as well as IBM’s expertise in machine learning, artificial intelligence, industrial Internet-of-Things and data analytics to enhance even further its materials knowledge in cement and ready-mix concrete products, as well as its solutions and products, including precast concrete, asphalt, mortar and building solutions.


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