In 2009, the CRAN laboratory begun to study the concept of “communicating materials” where materials are able to communicate with their environment, process, exchange information, and store data in their own structure. Besides, they also have the capability to sense their environment and measure their own internal physical states. This concept has been applied to the construction industry and led a physical prototype based on RFID tags embedded into the product structure. However, RFID are limited in memory, and must be read at short distance. In another hand, BIM (Building Information Modelling) data and models are often limited to design phases and neither reused nor accessible for downstream actors. To solve both problems, the McBIM objectives are 1) to design a “communicating concrete”, made of concrete equipped with embedded low-energy wireless micro-sensor network, able to manage and exchange data with BIM platforms, and 2) to demonstrate the usefulness of this approach across two building lifecycle phases, namely the construction and exploitation phases (for structural health monitoring).
To build this communicating concrete, several scientific obstacles should be solved: a) the design of robust wireless communications, not impacted by the concrete environment, b) the definition of innovative RF harvesting techniques to maximize the lifetime of embedded sensor nodes, c) the definition of new data management strategies controlling how data (either generated by sensor nodes, or sent by users) are spread into the WSN for a fast and reliable data storage and retrieval, d) the definition of a native BIM interoperability of the concrete material, based on IFC standard, to ensure a correct communication with BIM platforms.
The McBIM consortium is composed of 4 partners (CRAN, LE2I, LAAS, 360SC), all gathering the needed competences for the project success. McBiM is running over 42 months and decomposed into 6 WPs, 2 dedicated to project management and specfications, 3 dedicated to previous enounced scientific obstacles, and 1 to prototype manufacturing and experimentation on sites.
Due to its multi-disciplinary nature, the McBIM project is expected to have a large impact on multi-disciplinary science, combining the knowledge and techniques of the various disciplines to find new insights and new approaches, and create highly innovative solutions and products related to robust wireless transmission, low-energy micro-nodes adapted to reinforced concrete conditions, data management algorithms for WSN, interoperability with BIM platforms in the IoT. In agreement with the other partners, our partner 360SC, specialized in “connected concrete” could extend their offers to propose innovative data management and monitoring services to their clients, based on the project results.
Centre de recherche en automatique de Nancy (Laboratoire public)
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
Laboratoire d'Analyse et d'Architecture des Systèmes
Laboratoire d'Electronique, d'Informatique et d'Image
Centre de recherche en automatique de Nancy
Help of the ANR 714,076 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2017 - 42 Months