Eco-friendly technology could potentially replace concrete and revolutionize sector
Scientists have developed a method to 3D-print greener buildings using local soil that they say has the potential to revolutionise the construction industry.
The technology is designed to be a sustainable alternative to concrete, which accounts for approximately 7% of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the International Energy Agency.
Sarbajit Banerjee, a professor of chemistry and materials science and engineering at Texas A&M University, said 3D printing enabled a versatility that allowed them to print entire architectural facades, although getting such structures to meet existing building regulations remained a significant challenge.
Concrete remains the primary material used in many construction projects but it cannot be recycled and requires a lot of energy to mix and transport. The research team’s aim is to print structures using the type of soil that can be found in any garden.
“While the widespread use of concrete has democratised access to housing and enabled the growth of cities, this has come at a considerable environmental cost,” said Banerjee.