To more sustainable Concrete Floor Slabs through Digital Fabrication

In the face of the climate crisis, it is imperative that we reduce greenhouse gas emissions in every possible sector, and the construction industry plays a significant role in this challenge. A recent report highlighted that the building sector accounts for approximately 37% of global operational energy- and process-related greenhouse gas emissions. As the demand for floor area continues to rise, there is a growing need for innovative solutions that reduce the environmental impact of construction. One such solution is optimizing the design and production of floor slabs, which account for a substantial portion of a building's materials.

In a recent blog post entitled "The path to more sustainable concrete floor slabs through digital fabrication", Rebecca Ammann, a researcher in the NCCR DFAB, looks at the many aspects of floor slab sustainability, taking into account environmental, social and economic factors. Rebecca Ammann is a research assistant at the Chair of Concrete Structures and Bridge Design at the Institute of Structural Engineering at ETH Zurich. Her research focuses on the structural integrity of digitally fabricated concrete. The article addresses the complexity of sustainability in construction and the role that digital fabrication with concrete (DFC) can play in this context. For a more comprehensive understanding of this topic and to explore the potential of digital fabrication in the production of sustainable floor slabs, read Rebecca Ammann's article.

03 Examples

Prototypes for digitally fabricated concrete floor slabs.

Top left: Floor slab with 3D-printed voids (Source: Hansemann et al., 2022), Top right: 3D-concrete printed floor slab produced with a digitally fabricated formwork (binder jetting) (Source: Anton et al., 2020), Bottom left: Floor slab produced with foam 3d-printing (Source: Bedarf et al., 2022), Bottom right: Ribbed floor slab produced with digitally fabricated formwork (Eggshell) (Source: Burger et al., 2022)