By virtue of its size and location, the Grand Paris Express project faces a number of constraints, including meeting tight deadlines, carrying out work in a built-up, sensitive urban environment, and overseeing the logistics of such a large-scale roll-out. To respond to these challenges, the whole Group uses innovative tools and methods, six of which are presented below.
1 - BIM software to optimise projects
In order to respond to the challenges of the Grand Paris Express, all risks related to designing, building and operating the infrastructure must be monitored closely. The Building Information Modelling (BIM) software used includes a database that enables users to access project data in real time from desktop or mobile devices, providing an ideal way of anticipating unforeseen events and optimising construction costs and project duration.
2 - A high-performance hydrofraise
Developed by Soletanche Bachy, a VINCI Construction subsidiary specialised in foundations and soil technologies, the Hydrofraise® HFG 120T makes it possible to dig deeper (up to 75 metres below ground level) in harder soils, while reducing vibrations and noise, thereby minimising nuisance to the local community.
3 - A new shaft sinking technique
Vertical shaft sinking machines (VSMs) are installed at the same time as precast concrete segments, which provide structural support. Combining these techniques saves space above ground. This technology proves highly useful in built-up urban environments.
4 - More precise control of tunnel boring machines
Developed by VINCI Construction, CAP is a technologically advanced piece of software that enables precise control of tunnel boring machines and provides access to highly accurate measurements taken underground. This data is used to enhance tunnelling performance and facilitate underground work in sensitive sections of the tunnel network, thereby saving time.
5 - Efficient communication systems in difficult environments
VINCI Construction has developed and patented specific telecommunications systems for difficult environments such as tunnels, where there is usually no phone reception. This solution makes it easier to communicate with the outside world and allows work to be carried out more efficiently.
6 - Low-carbon concretes
The Exegy® range of low-carbon, very low-carbon and ultra low-carbon concretes developed by VINCI Construction replaces some or all of the Portland cement (a commonly used cement with a very large carbon footprint) with alternative cementing materials that have a low or very low carbon footprint when produced. With such a wide range of concretes available, there is one to suit all types of projects and specifications.