Revolutionary Low CO2 Concrete; A Look at the Newly Unveiled 3D Printed Building in Copenhagen


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The rise in 3D printing within the construction sector is no longer unexpected. What was once a narrow subject has increasingly become a global phenomenon, with 3D printed buildings emerging in places like New Zealand, Qatar, China, the USA, the UK, and Germany. However, even if construction 3D printing is becoming common, there are still challenges to be faced in this field. These primarily revolve around environmental issues, particularly the high carbon emission from concrete. A new development, however, is a community building in Copenhagen that has been 3D printed using a low-carbon alternative to conventional concrete.

Sustainability in construction brings up several issues, and materials are at the heart of this. As a paramount source of carbon dioxide, the cement industry produced an estimated 4 billion tons of cement in 2021, contributing to 8% of CO2 emissions as per Chatham House. This has cast a shadow over the assertion that additive manufacturing may revolutionize construction by making it more eco-friendly. The question remains, if cement remains the primary material in 3D construction, won’t the resulting product still have the same environmental impact? However, integrating low carbon concrete could create a solution.

The real estate developer AFK, responsible for the building, elaborated in a press release, “3D printing is an adaptive construction process where material is added only where required. It decides how much material should be used in different building components, enabling buildings to be designed where concrete is only introduced where structurally necessary. This can trigger a reduction in resource use, providing significant environmental and economic advantages while allowing more creative freedom in architectural design.” The advantage of this approach is surely amplified if the material is also eco-friendly, as with this newly 3D printed community building constructed from low CO2 concrete.

A 3D Printed Building Made With Low CO2 Concrete

As mentioned, the building in question is destined to be community building in the greater Copenhagen area in Denmark. It measures 72 m2 (775 SF), and will house a gym, guest room and common laundry for the residents. Denmark is known as well for its focus on environmental measures, which is one reason why the companies making the building, AKF in partnership with 3DCP Group, sought ways to lower the carbon footprint.

This was done by using 3D printing as explained by AFK, but also through the use of a low CO2 cement. Indeed, this cement has a carbon footprint that is 30% lower than that of normal cement. CO2 was then further lowered by mixing the cement with local sand and gravel to create a 3D printable concrete, using the D.fab admixtures method developed by Cemex and COBOD. Compared to printing with mortars, this low CO2 cement 3D printable concrete lowered CO2 emissions by 50%.

Concrete made out of low CO2 cement led to a 50% reduction in CO2 footprint compared to when 3D printing mortars.

Vibeke Lorenzen, the technical director at AFK, concluded, “3D printing opens the door to a world of possibilities, and hopefully, we can contribute to pushing the industry’s traditional construction methods.” You can find out more in the press release HERE.

What do you think of low CO2 concrete, 3D printed building? Let us know in a comment below or on our LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly Newsletter here, the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox! You can also find all our videos on our YouTube channel.

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“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”


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GCode-Guru

Meet the mastermind behind NozzleNerds.com: GCode-Guru, a 3D printing wizard whose filament collection rivals their sock drawer. Here to demystify 3D tech with a mix of expert advice, epic fails, and espresso-fueled rants. If you've ever wondered how to print your way out of a paper bag (or into a new coffee cup), you're in the right place. Dive into the world of 3D printing with us—where the only thing more abundant than our prints is our sarcasm.

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