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How Ottawa-based Giatec connects concrete to the Internet of Things #IoT
Architecture Architecture IoT

Techopia Live dealt with some dense topics this week – literally – as Giatec founder Aali Alizadeh joined us to talk about how the company is hoping to “revolutionize the concrete industry.”

The Ottawa-based firm develops sensors that can analyze the structural integrity of concrete structures, detecting cracks before they lead to collapse. Its smart concrete sensors are embedded into structures as they’re built, communicating this data to the mobile phones of operators, engineers, owners and other decision-makers as to what course of action is appropriate – before it’s too late.

“The idea of smart concrete is more than that. We want to make jobsites more connected, structures smart. All the contractors, operators, owners, engineers, even people who are living in the structures can get information about what’s happening in the structure at different stages in the structure’s lifecycle,” Alizadeh told Techopia Live.

As excited as he is about the potential to disrupt the construction industry, Alizadeh says he’s learned tough lessons about moving too quickly in an industry built on stability. Strict rules as to how structures can be built slows down the adoption of new technologies until a building authority can approve it.

“It’s kind of like the medical industry, everything is regulated … If there is an innovation, it is not adopted right away.”

Alizadeh decided early on that if Giatec was going to make its mark in concrete, it had to work within the established foundations of the sector.