A consortium of engineering firms has come together to build Europe’s largest 3D printed building. Expected to be completed by July, the building will house a data center, Kraus Gruppe announced.
The project, which has no name so far, will be in Heidelberg, Germany. The available reports show that the building will feature a wavy exterior and rise to nearly 30 feet (nine meters). The length of the building is designed to be 177 feet (54 m), while the width is planned for 36 feet (11 m), making it the largest 3D printed building on the continent.
Construction for this groundbreaking project kickstarted on March 31, 2023, and is expected to complete by the end of July 2023.
The technology for 3D printing comes from COBOD, which was also involved in making the world’s largest 3D printed building in 2021. The report said that its COBOD BOD 2 was used to 3D print a two-story house in Antwerp.
The construction itself has become pretty straightforward and typical these days, with a printer being used to pour out a cement like-mixture out of a nozzle and using layers to build the outer shell of the building. The time for the largest 3D printed building is expected to be 140 hours, following which human builders will move in to complete the rest of the work, such as fitting doors, roof, and wiring.
The construction is expected to produce only 55 percent of the carbon emissions that usually accompany a structure made with Portland cement, paving the way for a greener building. The construction is also expected to be recyclable, although the process details were not immediately available.
The building for the largest 3D printed building is expected to be completed by July, after which it will host cloud-computing infrastructure, another technology area that is getting greener by the day.
“We are experiencing an increasing demand for data center capacity and cloud infrastructure. Therefore, the decision to go with the project with the Kraus Group and a server hotel using innovative 3D printing technology on the commercial site in the south of Heidelberg was an obvious one,” said Matthias Blatz, managing director of Heidelberg iT. “We are very proud that our server hotel is being built in the largest 3D-printed building in Europe.”
The planned appearance of the building is a demonstration of how 3D printing technology is rapidly improving and can deliver aesthetic designs and not simply extrude material in layers. Adding the benefit of rapid construction time and the ability to build larger structures, the technology is steadily and surely heading to becoming mainstream every day.
The facility will be 3D printed using around 450 tons of printing concrete from Heidelberg Materials. The concrete is 100 percent recyclable and contains a binder that can reportedly achieve a 55 percent CO2 reduction rate compared to pure Portland cement.
”We are pleased to be part of this innovative project and to further develop 3D concrete printing as a particularly resource-efficient construction method with our partners,” said Nicola Kimm, Heidelberg Materials’ chief sustainability officer. “Together we show that sustainability and digitalisation go hand in hand. At Heidelberg Materials, innovative and sustainable products like i.tech 3D and the development of digital business models are essential elements of our sustainability strategy.”