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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S031405/1
Title: Manufacturing integrated building components using digital hybrid Concrete Printing (HCP) technology
Principal Investigator: Buswell, Professor RA
Other Investigators:
Provis, Professor JL Kinnell, Professor P
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Autodesk Concrenetics BVBA Cundall Johnston & Partners LLP (UK)
Foster and Partners Synthomer Ltd Urbastyle
Department: Architecture, Building and Civil Eng
Organisation: Loughborough University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 January 2019 Ends: 31 March 2022 Value (£): 1,222,952
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Civil Engineering Materials Construction Ops & Management
Structural Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
20 Nov 2018 ISCF TC Research Leadership Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The Government's Industrial Strategy highlights the need for the construction industry to embrace digitally-driven, automated manufacturing if it is going to deliver the planned infrastructure development, building and renovation of the built environment. The group funded through this award understands this need and envisages an industry that routinely deploys digitally-driven, off-site-manufacturing technologies to deliver customised and unique precision components to enable the rapid, just-in-time assembly of the built environment. Seamless digital workflow and accurate process simulation will reduce the time from design to product from weeks to hours, delivering buildings faster. It will facilitate the optimisation of components, removing unwanted material (reduced resource use and embedded CO2), designing out interfaces and reducing assembly time and complexity, both during installation and at end of life.

3D Concrete Printing (3DCP) is a digitally-driven, off-site manufacturing technology that is establishing itself worldwide as a viable manufacturing process, but its potential beyond aesthetic objects is fundamentally limited by the manufacturing tolerances achievable. The work undertaken by this group will develop the next generation, Hybrid Concrete Printing (or HCP), technology that uses 3DCP to create a near-net-shape (an object slightly larger than the desired object) and then uses subtractive process (cutting, milling and drilling) to remove a small amount of material to create the net-shape - the desired object to sub-millimetre precision. HCP technology will enable the intelligent integration of building performance and energy production and storage technologies, freed from traditional constraints on form and finish.

This will unlock the potential for accurate interfaces and assemblies and, hence, open the gateway for a revolution in design and manufacture of buildings and the wider built environment. The team will develop research that answers three central goals of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund's Transforming Construction initiative:

- Designing and managing buildings: We will develop and promote new design tools and design capabilities for UK design practise that will create globally marketable expertise;

- Constructing quality buildings: HCP, a digitally-driven off-site manufacturing technology, will realise greater precision in manufacture than is currently possible, enabling repeatable, high quality components to be manufactured with a much shorter lead-time; and,

- Powering buildings: The technology gives the designer close control of surface finish and component geometry, enabling them to add value through function and to design in order to integrate other active components as part of automated assembly.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.lboro.ac.uk