Infrastructure and Built Environments: Helping the Construction Industry Modernize its Practices

ÉTS researchers are helping the construction industry modernize its practices by incorporating advanced technologies and smart processes. They’re also trying to improve the lifespan of construction works by designing geophysical technologies that will improve our knowledge of the soil and its interactions with existing infrastructure. And they’re doing all this using environmentally sound practices. 

Primary Areas of ÉTS Research in Infrastructure and Built Environments 

Five strategic directions are at the forefront at ÉTS:

  • Put leading edge technologies to use in construction methods.
  • Develop smart processes for construction management.
  • Develop approaches and techniques to improve the lifespan of existing construction works.
  • Contribute to improving risk management in both urban and rural contexts.
  • Participate in the development of sustainable and resilient cities.

Infrastructure and Built Environments in Québec

To further its economic development, Québec needs to have a solid, reliable network of equipment and infrastructure. That’s why the government will invest more than $90 billion in the next 10 years to improve the condition of schools, hospitals and the road network as well as public transit. And ÉTS researchers intend to play a leading role in this vast project.

The magnitude of the work ahead in infrastructure and built environments
The Government of Quebec will invest more than $100 billion over 10 years in the rehabilitation of infrastructures (cf. The Québec Infrastructure Plan)
Rehabilitation of urban infrastructures now counts for 60% of the overall volume of construction in North America (it was 25% in the 1990s)
There are 9,000 bridges in Canada and 50% need to be replaced or strengthened (according to Omar Chaallal)
Deteriorating infrastructures affect Quebec and, indeed, the entire western world, so there is no lack of rehabilitation projects. Icon
Omar Chaallal: Keeping the Old with the New

Almost half of Québec’s built heritage requires renovation. Omar Chaallal, a professor in ÉTS’s Department of Construction Engineering, is a world-renowned specialist in this field who works on major rehabilitation projects. He is particularly interested in the use of composite materials.

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