Poster printing

3D printing with low-carbon concrete: reducing CO2 emissions and material waste

3D printing with low-carbon concrete: reducing CO2 emissions and material waste

After water, concrete is the second most consumed material on the planet and its production is increasing dramatically, from 4.4 billion tons to 5.5 billion tons by 2050. Unfortunately, this comes at an environmental cost. enormous, accounting for nearly eight percent of global carbon emissions. With this estimated expected growth, construction players must work to integrate sustainable building materials and innovative processes.

As a renewable energy company with more than 1.2 million kilometers of transmission and distribution power lines, Iberdrola needs more transmission networks to facilitate the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables and transport this green energy to the load centers and to the customers. In an effort to minimize the environmental impact of these new facilities and reduce project costs and timelines, the energy giant decided to collaborate with Hyperion Robotics and Peikko Group to apply 3D printing technology to to improve the construction of its transmission network.

Structure optimized.  Image courtesy of Hyperion Robotics
Structure optimized. Image courtesy of Hyperion Robotics
Structure optimized.  Image courtesy of Hyperion Robotics
Structure optimized. Image courtesy of Hyperion Robotics

The solution offered by Hyperion Robotics aims to optimize the construction of power transmission facilities by increasing process efficiency and productivity. Considering that construction is the least automated industry, which is currently experiencing a shortage of skilled labor, the solution comes very handy and at the right time. Large-scale 3D printing of low-carbon concrete ensures cheaper, faster, safer and more environmentally friendly concrete construction.

Courtesy of Hyperion Robotics
Courtesy of Hyperion Robotics
Courtesy of Hyperion Robotics
Courtesy of Hyperion Robotics

With its innovative 3D printing micro-factories, Hyperion Robotics reduces the amount of structural concrete needed by up to 75% and the amount of waste produced significantly. Not only does the solution make the process more sustainable, but it also improves health and safety conditions, as it is the robots that do the hard work while the workers oversee the process.

Recycling is another industry problem solved by Hyperion’s robotic 3D printing solution. Currently, most waste is not recycled, but the printing system allows the use of low-carbon reinforced concrete made from a combination of end-of-cycle materials from industry such as slag from blast furnace, fly ash, mining tailings and demolition waste, which contribute to significant savings and a 90% reduction in embodied CO2 emissions.

Courtesy of Hyperion Robotics
Courtesy of Hyperion Robotics
Courtesy of Hyperion Robotics
Courtesy of Hyperion Robotics

Hyperion’s latest project in collaboration with renewable energy company Iberdrola and connection technology provider for concrete elements Peikko Group has just been launched with the world’s first 3D printed foundation.

“This [3d printed] the foundation is very special. It was designed, designed and printed with the help of Peikko and Iberdrola. To be the first in the world – means saving 75% of material – compared to traditional slab foundations, which are generally found in energy infrastructures or any other type of project. Henry Unterreiner, co-founder of Hyperion Robotics, said.

Courtesy of Hyperion Robotics
Courtesy of Hyperion Robotics


The innovative 3D-printed construction has been tested with horizontal and vertical traction and shown that in practice only 25% of the material is sufficient to achieve the equivalent strength of traditional pad foundations. It’s a huge achievement in terms of CO2 footprint and improved construction methodology for the long-term future of the industry.

Concrete 3D printing technology and robotics offer significant and exciting new possibilities to the construction industry, improving the carbon footprint and simplifying the production of concrete elements directly from site.

This project is a huge success in terms of eCO2 footprint and improved construction methodology for the long term future of the industry. Hyperion is now working on scaling up this application of 3D printing and applying it to energy infrastructure with the goal of minimizing the environmental impact of these new facilities and reducing project costs and timelines.

Learn more about this innovation here.

This article is part of the ArchDaily topics: The Road to Net Zero Architecture presented by Randers Tegl.

Randers Tegl aims to take responsibility and think sustainable as part of achieving the goal of Net Zero. Both in terms of the impact of building materials on the climate and the aging of materials, but also with a focus on architecture. That’s why Randers Tegl created his sustainable series GREENERwhich comes with full documentation in the form of an EPD, so it is possible to use the product in technical calculation programs.

Each month we explore a topic in depth through articles, interviews, news and projects. Learn more about our ArchDaily topics. As always, at ArchDaily, we welcome contributions from our readers; if you wish to submit an article or a project, Contact us.