The civil engineering sector is responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions, and Construction and demolition waste (CDW) accounts for approximately 25% to 30% of all waste generated in the EU. Securing resource and energy efficiency are key drivers to improve sustainability in buildings and civil infrastructures. Current mixes for 3D printable concrete use high amounts of cement, which increases the material's embodied energy and carbon footprint. Although 3D printing technology is developing rapidly, buildings made through 3D printed concrete still lack adequate thermal performance. To make the technology attractive for the industry sector these buildings need to fit The Netherlands' target for energy efficient and zero-energy dwellings. In this project, we address these pressing issues through two complementary strategies:
- acting on the mix composition to make it more sustainable - lowering the cement content, replacing it with sustainable additives that can act as binders, and
- applying solutions that can improve thermal performance, through passive (insulation) or active (heat storage) methods.
To achieve net-zero energy buildings with 3DP mixes, new innovative solutions need to be tested - solutions that lower CO2 emissions and also reduce energy demand. Thermal performance of concrete in conventional structures can be improved not only by using insulation materials but also through the application of heat storage as an active heating/cooling solution.
By developing new solutions and structures with improved thermal efficiency, 3D printed buildings can become an alternative and viable solution for nearly zero-energy housing. This project involves several industrial partners and the results of the research will become available for industrial implementation.
This is a project funded by NWO, led by TU/e in collaboration with a consortium of industrial partners.
You will work within the 3D Concrete Printing (3DCP) research group that operates and develops its own 3D Concrete Printer at the Department of the Built Environment. The group is currently running several projects, including Project Milestone, the world's first commercial housing project based on 3D-concrete printing.