The finished project, which will house a data center, is being constructed with 100% recyclable concrete. According to the concrete manufacturer Heidelberg Materials, their material has a 55% lower CO2 footprint compared to conventional concrete.
According to the developer, PERI 3D Construction, the new data center in Heidelberg will become Europe’s largest 3D printed structure. The finished project will be 54 meters long, eleven meters wide, and nine meters high.
Construction started in March and is set to finish in July. Moreover, the total build time of the project will take only 140 working hours. However, the technology does not allow for printing everything in a single go, as workers have to stop and let the layers set, while they install cabling, pipes, and windows.
At the same time, during the majority of the construction process, the Heidelberg project required only two people to be present on-site, to make sure everything is printing correctly.
3D printing buildings with concrete is one of the biggest innovations in construction currently taking shape. It offers several benefits, including less manual labor. It is also less material intensive – according to Heidelberg Materials the data-center project will use around 70% of materials compared to similar-sized regular developments.
Additionally, the unique way a 3D printer functions could serve as a creative conduit for architects. Instead of pouring concrete on flat surfaces and connecting walls at 90° angles, a 3D printer works in layers, placed from above. This means that it can swerve and curl to create unique shapes.
The only distinct feature present on walls is the layer lines, which can be visible or covered up with additional material. However, the jury is still out on whether 3D printing for construction will take over the sector. One of the first projects of this kind was executed in Austria in 2021.
According to themayor