/ Bridges / Holcim launches Phoenix, the first-of-its-kind circular 3D-printed concrete bridge

Holcim launches Phoenix, the first-of-its-kind circular 3D-printed concrete bridge

Parul Dubey on December 18, 2023 - in Bridges, News, Products, Technology

Phoenix, 3D-printed concrete masonry bridge Block Research Group©

 

  • First 3D-printed concrete bridge built with recycled materials in Holcim proprietary concrete ink
     
  • Built in partnership with Block Research Group at ETH Zurich, Zaha Hadid Architects Computation and Design Group and incremental3D
  • Demonstration of low-carbon and circular technologies at work in key infrastructure application

 

Holcim launches Phoenix, the first-of-its-kind 3D-printed concrete masonry bridge built with 10 tons of recycled materials, at its Innovation Hub in Europe. Using its proprietary ECOCycle® circular technology, Holcim developed a custom concrete ink for Phoenix with recycled materials inside. Phoenix demonstrates how circular construction combined with 3D concrete printing can enable low-carbon infrastructure applications.

Circular construction, using computational design and 3D printing, allows for a reduction of up to 50% of the materials used with no compromise in performance. Circular by design, Phoenix stands solely through compression without reinforcement, with blocks that can be easily disassembled and recycled. Holcim and its partners are now exploring how Phoenix could be scaled up to provide more generalized sustainable infrastructure solutions.

Edelio Bermejo, Head of Global R&D, Holcim: “I am thrilled to unveil Phoenix, a monument to sustainability and the result of a fruitful collaboration with our partners to meet a common goal: demonstrating that essential infrastructure can be designed and built in a way that is circular and low-carbon today. This project showcases the impact that innovation can have in Holcim’s mission to decarbonize building for a net-zero future.”

Philippe Block, Co-Director, Block Research Group at ETH Zurich: “Concrete is an artificial stone, and like stone, it does not want to be a straight beam, it wants to be a masonry arch. Following these historical principles allows us to keep materials separated for easy recycling and to dry-assemble the structure for easy deconstruction and reuse. 3D concrete printing allows us to use material only and exactly where needed. The result is a sustainable and truly circular approach to concrete construction.”

Built in partnership with Block Research Group at ETH Zurich, Zaha Hadid Architects Computation and Design Group and incremental3D, Phoenix resulted from the partial recycling of aggregates from the original blocks of Striatus, the first-of-its-kind 3D concrete printed bridge launched by the partners during the 2021 Venice Biennale of Architecture.

Shajay Bhooshan, Head of Computation and Design Group, Zaha Hadid Architects: “Phoenix is a significant milestone in technology readiness. It showcases the maturation of integrated design to construction technologies that were initiated with Striatus. There have been improvements in the robustness of the digital design tools, closer alignment with the numerous structural design and circularity-related improvements, tighter integration with robotic concrete printing parameters and extensive calibration to improve efficiency of production of almost double the number of blocks in less printing time.”

Johannes Megens, Co-Founder, incremental3D: “Thanks to its design principles, Striatus already represented 3D concrete printing in its purest possible form. Now, after two years and in its second iteration, Phoenix adds a largely reduced carbon footprint and permanence according to building codes along with many other further improvements. Consequently we, the incremental3d team, are very excited about Phoenix and we are looking forward to many other projects that will evolve in similar spirit.”

About Holcim
Holcim is a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions with net sales of CHF 29.2 billion in 2022. Driven by its purpose to build progress for people and the planet, its 60,000 employees are on a mission to decarbonize building, while improving living standards for all. The company empowers its customers across all regions to build better with less, with its broad range of low-carbon and circular solutions, from ECOPact to ECOPlanet. With its innovative systems, from Elevate roofing to PRB’s insulation, Holcim makes buildings more sustainable in use, driving energy efficiency and green retrofitting. With sustainability at the core of its strategy, Holcim is becoming a net-zero company with 1.5°C targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Learn more about Holcim on Holcim.com, and by following us on LinkedIn.

Important disclaimer – forward-looking statements:
This document contains forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements do not constitute forecasts regarding results or any other performance indicator, but rather trends or targets, as the case may be, including with respect to plans, initiatives, events, products, solutions and services, their development and potential. Although Holcim believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions as at the time of publishing this document, investors are cautioned that these statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of Holcim, including but not limited to the risks described in the Holcim’s annual report available on its website (www.holcim.com) and uncertainties related to the market conditions and the implementation of our plans. Accordingly, we caution you against relying on forward-looking statements. Holcim does not undertake to provide updates of these forward-looking statements.

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