Joris Burger

Sustainable Design Graduation Studio

1.8m tall, full-scale reinforced concrete column prototype for a pavilion in Switzerland

Eggshell: Design and fabrication of non-standard, structural concrete columns, using 3D printed thin-shell formwork

This research proposes an alternative method of producing concrete formworks, called ‘Eggshell’. Combined with a novel casting technique, its aim is to overcome the challenges of creating non-standard shapes with concrete and make material-efficient concrete production possible.

In the thesis, a process was developed in which a thin-shell formwork is 3D printed while a fast-hydrating concrete is simultaneously fed in. By 3D printing the formwork, complex geometries can be fabricated effectively. The printed formwork can potentially also be recycled and reused, making the process fully circular. Furthermore, reinforcement can be integrated into the structures, allowing for the creation of structural building components.

As a case study, 1:1 prototypes of a column were made for a pavilion just outside of Zürich, Switzerland. The pavilion consists of a 100 m2 timber roof which rests on a non-standard concrete column. The successful fabrication of the column was the result of this thesis.

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