Innovating to meet the challenges of the future
Digital technologies on worksites
Digital technologies have become part of the construction sector at various levels and are now an integral part of most aspects of the company. BIM (Building Information Modeling) is an emblematic example. Regularly employed during the design, construction and maintenance phases, it is also used as a worksite management tool that supports real-time access to the same level of information for multiple users, availability of up-todate documents, early detection of error risks and pooled project challenges.
The technically complex Saint Gobain tower project in La Défense used BIM from the design stage to support mixed reality at the heart of the operation. Digital technology brings all project participants together in a collaborative approach. In another notable example, 3D scanning is used to model a structure in a particularly effective way, as in the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London. Lastly, digital technology is gradually being included in the company’s safety programme with the development of digital accident prevention support tools.
3D concrete printing, a promising technology
VINCI Construction signed a longterm partnership with start-up Xtreee, a leader in 3D concrete printing, in February 2017. VINCI Construction plans to develop the promising new 3D printing technologies in the construction sector. The move epitomises the construction sector’s strong focus on innovation.
Point P and SADE have already used it to print a concrete part weighing more than five tonnes for a customised storm drain being installed in the town of La Madeleine within the Metropole européenne de Lille urban community. The 3D printing technique, which lends itself to addressing architectural challenges, has also been used to produce a fourmetre column for a middle school courtyard in Aix en Provence. Because it facilitates the design and construction of complex shapes at reasonable cost, 3D printing is also being considered as a way to produce structural and building elements.
Sixense: a different approach to construction
Sixsense provides VINCI Construction with digital services and solutions dedicated to infrastructure, soils and the environment. Because it can be used to gain understanding of structure’s behaviour during design, construction and operation phases, the service provides invaluable support for decision making in managing construction projects, assets and risk.
In 2017, Sixense worked on a wide variety of projects in France and around the world, including metro lines, railway lines, bridges and tunnels. Sixense launched the EOLESENSE® technology to measure the acoustic impact of wind farms, rolled out the Digital Site worksite management tool on the Cyclhad building for the ARCHADE project in Caen, and developed the ScanPrint tool on all bridges in Ontario, Canada.
VINCI Construction recognised at the VINCI 2017 Innovation Awards
VINCI Construction won five prizes in the finals of the VINCI 2017 Innovation Awards competition. The Partners prize went to Soletanche Bachy and Eurovia for their circular economy project implemented on the Nice tram worksite. Soletanche Bachy’s Hydrofraise® with grippers won the Breakthrough Innovation prize.
Together with its partner Bill Harvey Associates, Freyssinet received the Processes and Techniques prize for its ElevArch® innovation, which is used to raise masonry bridge arches to make room for catenaries.
Lastly, GTM Ouest won the Special “Our Favourite” Prize for Compilot, which enables hearing-impaired people to safely communicate on the worksite. VINCI Construction France also won the second Special “Our Favourite” Prize for its Digital Worksite Totem.
The 2017 Students Prize went to students at the École des Ponts ParisTech engineering school for their innovative Wind my Roof solution for harvesting facade wind.
Innovation at the heart of the Grand Paris programme
The Grand Paris Express programme, Europe’s largest worksite, gives VINCI Construction an opportunity to use three major innovations that set it apart in the construction market.
With the Hydrofraise® with grippers inspired by the gripper tunnel boring machine technology, the company is revolutionising the deep foundations sector. It can now use the state-of-the-art equipment to drill through very hard rock horizons while limiting wear and breakage.
With Dodin Campenon Bernard subsidiary CAP, tunnel boring machines now have a particularly efficient navigation, guidance, control and data processing tool. Starting in 2017, CAP added the new CAP 3D tool, a three-dimensional BIM designed to pool key project information (geology, built structures, tunnel, station, tunnelling machine, detailed surface analysis data).
Lastly, with the Wise system, which is accessible without connection, the tunnel boring machines and personnel can be identified, located, and easily contacted.