Plastic gravel and software that checks designs for code compliance were among the inventions that won Mexican cement maker Cemex’s latest contest for the best start-up companies in the global construction industry.
In all, 10 young companies caught Cemex’s eye at a three-day conference in Monterrey, and will get the chance to collaborate with the company in developing their concepts in markets where Cemex already operates, or may move into.
The winning firms were:
360 Smart Connect (France) - developed a way to insert chips into a concrete element containing information, including on how to use it, its cost and what it is made from;
Arqlite (Argentina) produced gravel from recycled plastics, which creates a material 66% lighter and 10 times more insulating than conventional gravel, which can be used for concrete, drainage and precast;
BuildStream (US) produced a free software tool that integrates other software systems, facilitating the real-time management of heavy equipment and logistics in complex construction projects;
BldBox (US) is a cost estimating platform that uses historical project data to calculate estimates for future projects;
Matrak (Australia) won with a digital hub that “allows teams and companies to easily work together”;
Morta (UK) automates the business of checking designs for compliance with building regulations;
PlanRadar (Austria) provides “software as a service” to improve project documentation and communication between the project team;
Rebartek (Norway) uses robots to automate the prefabrication of reinforcement cages;
Thunderbolt Pipeline (US) is a platform that uses AI and machine learning to reduce risks and allow preconstruction teams to make more competitive offers;
Vero Solutions (Canada) invented a modular design system for steel and cement.
A video presentation of the winners can be seen here.