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A 3D construction printer builds structural elements of the first multistory 3D-printed structure in the U.S. | Leslie Lok and Sasa Zivkovic/Provided
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2023: Toward Carbon Negative Concrete: Next-Gen 3D Building Materials

Concrete is the world’s most widely used material for construction. Cement, the binding agent in concrete, is negatively associated with excessive mining for raw materials and an estimated 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Construction 3D printing has immense sustainability potential, but current 3D printing concrete mixtures are based on outdated, unsustainable, and non-future-proof recipes. An interdisciplinary research team from Cornell Civil & Environmental Engineering and Architecture, Art and Planning will work with building industry partners to develop new, sustainable material mixtures. They will combine two primary concepts – (1) integration of state-of-the-art CO2 capture and mineralization of slags to replace cement; and (2) integration of larger aggregates into the print mixture to reduce the overall amount of cement required in the mix – in reimagining the next generation of 3D printing materials.

Investigators: Sriramya Nair, Greeshma Gadikota, Leslie Lok, Sasa Zivkovic

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