LafargeHolcim, IBM Partner to Reduce Road Project Costs, Carbon Emissions

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Bennett Oghifo

LafargeHolcim has said it would work with IBM Services to further develop the first digital platform for road design optimisation, ORIS, a solution that could reduce road project costs by up to one-third and carbon emissions by up to half while tripling road durability and usage lifespans.

This is contained in a statement by LafargeHolcim, which said ORIS 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.

Records show 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. Because roads vary depending on location, climate, vehicle types and traffic volumes, it is a complex challenge to define the most sustainable and cost-effective mix of building materials and technologies early in the design phase. ORIS assesses road pavement designs from different perspectives and recommends efficient construction and maintenance patterns with local materials availability and capabilities. ORIS is supporting public policies that conserve natural resources, enabling a more local and circular economy in road construction.

“We are accelerating the digitalisation of our solutions for sustainable and high-performance construction,” said Marcel Cobuz, Region Head of Europe, Member of the Executive Committee with responsibility for innovation at LafargeHolcim on a global level. “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.”

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.

“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. ORIS is instrumental in recommending appropriate and tailored approaches to road-building, thus minimising costs, environmental impacts and project delays,” says Hervé Rolland, Vice President, Industrial solutions, IBM Europe. “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.”