Holcim has helped build the first 3D printed concrete footbridge, in Venice, Italy, demonstrating the future of minimalistic, environmentally friendly construction.
The bridge – named Striatus – was designed by the Block Research Group and Zaha Hadid Architects, in collaboration with Holcim and incremental3D.
Through a clever design, the footbridge uses no reinforcements, instead using a digitally fashioned design to achieve strength and simplicity.
Block Research Group co-director Philippe Block explained the name and design behind the bridge.
“The name ‘Striatus’ reflects the bridge’s structural logic and fabrication process. In arched and vaulted structures, material is placed such that forces can travel to the supports in pure compression,” Block said.
“Strength is created through geometry, using a fraction of the materials used in conventional concrete beams.”
Holcim’s part in the project involved its TectorPrint range of custom-made 3D concrete printing ink.
Holcim Australia and New Zealand chief executive officer George Agriogiannis said Holcim was paving the way for similarly sustainable products, with innovations in 3D printing and green concrete.
“Holcim continues to push the boundaries of innovation and sustainability around the world and locally in Australia and New Zealand,” Agriogiannis said.
“In April we launched ECOPact concrete in Australia to offer architects and builders options to reduce embodied carbon by 30 to 60 per cent.
“Today’s opening of Striatus pushes the frontier again to show what is possible with smart collaboration and design ingenuity.”
In Malawi, East Africa, Holcim has helped to build a concrete printed school where the walls took 18 hours to build and used 70 per cent less materials than traditional methods.
Holcim chief executive officer Jan Jenisch expressed his pride in the company’s actions, having only been admitted to the company’s board in recent months.
“Striatus was designed by some of the best architectural and creative minds in their fields,” Jenisch said.
“It demonstrates the infinite possibilities of 3D concrete printing to enable more sustainable, faster and effective building structures, without compromise on aesthetics and functionality.
“Its digital and circular design uses concrete at its best, with minimal material use and blocks that can be repeatedly reassembled and infinitely recycled.”