Dubbed Germany’s city of science, Heidelberg will soon host the largest 3D-printed building in Europe

render © SVV Architekten | all courtesy COBOD

Developed by PERI 3D Construction, the cloud and data centre being built in Heidelberg will utilize cutting-edge 3D printing technology and 100% recyclable concrete to create a structure with a significantly lower carbon footprint than conventional construction methods. This groundbreaking project not only showcases the design freedom and speed of execution offered by 3D printing but also represents a major step towards a more sustainable future in the construction industry. 

Revolutionizing Construction with 3D Printing:

image © PERI 3D Construction

At present, the ongoing construction of Heidelberg’s 3D-printed building is the largest structure of its kind, spanning 54 meters in length, 11 meters in width, and 9 meters in height. The building’s walls are being shaped using the BOD2 3D construction printer, provided by Denmark-based company COBOD and operated by PERI 3D Construction. The architects from SSV Architekten and Mense Korte collaborated on the project, paying meticulous attention to the wall architecture, which is notably unconventional. 

Environmental Benefits and Carbon Footprint Reduction:

One of the notable advantages of constructing the Heidelberg cloud and data center using 3D printing is the substantial reduction in its carbon footprint. The building is being constructed from 100% recyclable concrete, containing a binder that boasts a carbon footprint approximately 55% lower than that of traditional Portland cement. Heidelberg Materials, the manufacturer of the concrete, has ensured that the completely mineral building material aligns with their commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. 

Speed, Efficiency, and Safety

image © PERI 3D Construction

The 3D printing process employed by PERI allows for remarkable speed and efficiency in construction. With an estimated completion time of just 140 working hours, equivalent to printing 4 square meters per hour, only two construction workers are required on-site at most times. This streamlined process not only saves time but also enables up to 70% less material usage compared to conventional construction methods, further reducing the building’s environmental impact. Additionally, the use of 3D printing minimizes dust and noise emissions, leading to safer and more controlled construction sites. 

Paving the Way for Circular Construction:

Heidelberg Materials, the supplier of the specialized mortar® 3D used in the project, aims to offer circular alternatives for 50% of its concrete products worldwide by 2030. The company has been at the forefront of 3D printing in construction since 2020 when they first utilized® 3D to print residential buildings. Through continuous development and optimization, Heidelberg Materials has reduced the CO₂ content of the building material, making it even more sustainable and environmentally friendly. 

Embracing Sustainable Future with 3D Printing :

image © PERI 3D Construction

The Heidelberg 3D-printed cloud and data center serve as a testament to the innovative potential of 3D printing technology in revolutionizing the construction industry. By employing recyclable materials and reducing carbon emissions, the project sets an example for sustainable construction practices in Europe. The success of this endeavor highlights the immense design freedom, efficiency, and safety offered by 3D printing, ultimately paving the way for a more environmentally conscious future in the field of architecture and construction. 

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