CloudPiling sheds new light on the design of deep foundations
Saving time, materials and therefore costs when designing deep foundations, that is the mission of Thomas Zwaenepoel and Michelle Vanhove with CloudPiling. "Our SaaS solution is perfectly scalable. We are already looking forward to further expansion abroad.”
Civil engineer Thomas Zwaenepoel got the idea for CloudPiling on the very first day in the field. "It was a disconcerting thought that the digitization of the construction industry was only so far along. Traditionally, people work with various software pacakges and Excel sheets, which means you have to repeat the same calculations continuously to obtain different options. This is very labour-intensive. As a result, civil engineers have just enough time to make 'a' design by the customer's deadline, while I am convinced that you should go for the best solution at the cheapest price. In our tool, you can change the parameters and compare the cost price of up to 10 different designs at the touch of a button."
Zwaenepoel worked for 2 years as a civil engineer at Tractebel Engineering, that designed for example quay walls and foundations for wind turbines. At a contractor specialized in deep foundations, he learned everything about the execution. "With CloudPiling, we deliver solutions that require up to 30% less steel and concrete. This is not only beneficial for the cost of a project, but also for the environment. After all, both the production and transportation of concrete and steel have a large carbon footprint."
CloudPiling, launched in May 2020, has already secured nice references such as Willy Naessens, De Coster D., the Dutch Fundex Group and the WTCB, amongst others. "The latter has been expanding its tools with our software to do research and development since this year," adds Michelle Vanhove. "The first year we mainly invested in our product - in collaboration with a professor from the university of Ghent - and tested the market in Belgium and the Netherlands. Meanwhile, we grew in terms of personnel, customer relations and professionalization. At the end of last year, we moved into a brand new office in Hooglede. This year we want to broaden our tool with the calculation of techniques that are also used in port construction. And because CloudPiling is Software as a Service (SaaS), we can also continue to scale up. We are aiming for Germany and the United Kingdom in the near future. And our ultimate dream is to introduce this in the US as well." (laughs)