Do You Consider Yourself Innovative?
by Bryan Gee, P.E., on June 21, 2019
Adopting proven, innovative technology is an easy way to raise the standards of our infrastructure while being more efficient with our budgets and time. Tensar recently wrote about the importance of faster adoption of innovations in order to modernize America's aging infrastructure. But, we didn't stop there. We also partnered with Informed Infrastructure to conduct a survey so we can better understand how firms and project managers use innovative road construction products in their projects.
The term "innovative" was defined as follows: the adoption of a construction product which provides a significant benefit in terms of time, cost or quality and that has not been recommended or routinely used by the organization in road construction, asset management and ongoing maintenance. The study included 115 Informed Infrastructure readers who have worked on any road construction project within the past 12 months. We've highlighted a few of the most interesting responses below:
Within the past 12 months, has your organization purchased, recommended, used, adopted and/or specified the adoption of a construction product innovation for road construction, asset management or maintenance?
With only 39% responding "Yes," this result points to a slower adoption of innovative products.
If your organization purchased, adopted, recommended or specified an innovative product in the past 12 months, what was the expected benefit?
Improved project quality (51%) and cost savings (27%) were the two highest expectations among respondents. Given the growing population demands, higher performance for less costs seems to be a growing need. It's also important to note that a whopping 98% of respondents said that the new products either met or exceeded their expectations. It's safe to say that those who sought out innovative products experienced a great impact on their projects.
If your organization did not purchase, adopt, specify or promote a product innovation for road construction, asset management or maintenance, what prevented it?
53% of respondents indicated that they had no perceived need for an innovative product. It's troubling that more than half of those polled didn't think it was necessary to seek out new products or technologies that could potentially decrease costs or increase performance.
Have we become complacent when it comes to building roads?
With increased traffic loads and diminishing budgets the norm, simply doing what we've always done is not a viable strategy for building or maintaining our roadways. For owners and developers creating these structures that are expected to last decades, adopting novel methods and materials can seem risky. But, what if adopting an innovation can be a safe bet? Sometimes, innovation can simply mean adopting a proven but under-utilized technology.
Tensar’s geogrid technology is a prime example. Building better roads with TriAx Geogrid is a simple but powerful way to deliver long-lasting roads with lower construction and maintenance costs. With over 1 million ESALs of research and decades of real world performance, geogrid has proven itself time and again on projects around the globe. The significant benefits offered by innovative products like TriAx Geogrid should motivate even the most complacent to seek out new solutions.