Case Study: How Converge’s AI-enhanced sensors are decarbonizing construction

22 May 2024

Climate Investment

“As it’s become possible to measure the physical world, we’re able to digitize physical reality, and that means optimizing entire industries”.

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This realization led Raphael Scheps and Gideon Farrell to co-found Converge, a pioneering technology firm. Working to digitize the construction industry, Converge created specialist concrete sensors that work with AI to significantly reduce carbon, improve efficiency and lower costs. The solution caught the attention of Climate Investment.

Converge uses intelligent construction technologies to speed up decarbonization in the construction industry. The technology utilizes real-time data captured by smart sensors throughout the construction site, optimizing the entire construction process for carbon reduction and enabling faster building of up to 40%.

Geographic coverage and applicability

Headquarters: London, UK; Globally applicable to the construction industry. Market segments include precast factories, ready mix providers and general contractors.

Customer benefits and value
  • Reduce pour cycles by up to 40%, optimizing critical activities and formwork.
  • Eliminate delays from testing, automate temperature reporting, and track strength remotely.
  • Future-proofing: Inform planning with AI forecasts, improve QA and compliance, and manage the temperature during curing.
  • Help teams collaborate, make remote decisions, and manage multiple pours centrally.
  • Generate a real-time digital twin to optimize the timing of activities and plan ahead with accurate predictions.
  • Decarbonize by reducing concrete overdosing with cement and using the right mix for the job, striking at the perfect time.
Awards/ Certification/Compliance
  • BuiltWorlds Awardee
  • CEMEX Ventures’ Top Contech Start Up
Key Customers

Raphael Scheps


Contact person:
Guillaume Borkhataria

“We identified the decarbonization of cement and concrete amongst the critical pathways for achieving meaningful  near-term emissions impact said Mike Bishop, Investment Director at Climate Investment. Converge’s highly scalable and easily adopted digital solutions can deliver that impact across the construction sector.”

Conventional construction is energy-intensive and relies on carbon-intensive materials like concrete – which contributes around 8% of global CO2 emissions. Climate Investment saw the opportunity to introduce Converge to CRH plc, an international group of building materials businesses determined to tackle the challenges faced by the construction industry.

The timing was fortuitous. Newly launched CRH Ventures had a mission to drive adoption of technology across the CRH family, and Converge began a 12-month pilot program with CRH subsidiary Tarmac, a household name in building materials in the UK. Tests to optimize concrete pours over three buildings yielded significant results:

“There is an unprecedented opportunity to leverage AI in building materials, to rapidly accelerate decarbonization of one of the hardest-to-abate sectors” said Raphael Scheps, CEO of Converge. “By packaging our technology with Tarmac’s low embodied carbon mixes [designed to minimise carbon footprint during production], contractors can build sustainably, with the confidence they’re getting all the performance they need.”

Converge’s sensor and AI platform combination provides real-time data on how concrete is curing, improving productivity. This not only reduces the wait times and transportation involved with sending samples to labs and slotting in with testing schedules, but most importantly, tells contractors what’s really going on with the concrete. “By tracking the actual performance, we often find concrete on site is hitting strength much faster than concrete in different environmental conditions in a lab – typically 20-40% faster, which has significant productivity benefits,” explained Scheps.

Evidence for the benefits of digitalization go far beyond the accuracy of knowing when concrete hits critical strength. Converge now has tens of millions of data points on concrete behaviour, enabling progression from monitoring, to making recommendations. Using machine learning the platform can accurately predict how concrete will perform and how mixes will behave.

Working on one project with Tarmac, the AI demonstrated the suitability of a concrete mix with 46% less carbon than the standard Portland cement baseline.

For Tarmac, the partnership is vital in efforts to decarbonizing the construction industry, and a key aspect of the collaboration is broadening the technology’s reach. All Tarmac customers, including small and medium-sized contractors, have access to the groundbreaking solutions. “By eliminating barriers to adoption, we are extending the benefits of technology beyond major projects to foster widespread industry transformation” said Andrew Campling, head of readymix concrete performance at Tarmac.

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“Offering market-wide access to innovative digital technology like Converge means we can offer even more innovations to our customers, providing them with the tools to reduce carbon on construction projects.”

Andrew Campling, Head of Readymix Concrete Performance, Tarmac

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Eliminating guesswork, removing workflow bottlenecks, automating data collection and reporting, minimizing time on site, and lowering waste and emissions are all enabled by digitizing physical construction sites. The pioneering technology Converge has developed and Tarmac’s efforts to transform the industry bode well for the future of construction.

Simply reducing cement overdosing in concrete optimizes recipes by 10-15%, which would translate to saving half a gigatonne of carbon scaled globally. And that’s not even the biggest opportunity. Instead of reducing cement, replacing it entirely with supplementary cementing materials (SCMs) is a step closer thanks to performance data and insight that Converge enables.

With some 30 billion tonnes of concrete produced a year1, the improvement will be dramatic.

1Concrete needs to lose its colossal carbon footprint (2021) Nature News.