VINCI Construction, a France-based construction leader, is launching a new company focused on 3D printing high-performance concrete materials through its subsidiary Freyssinet. The company, called Concreative, offers a fully integrated service, providing support from early design stages to on-site installation.
To mark the launch of the new 3D printing construction startup, Concreative is opening a design-build factory in Dubai, which will help to meet the growing demand for construction additive manufacturing technologies in the UAE. (Many of our readers will already be familiar with Dubai’s 3D printing strategy which aims to 3D print 25% of all new buildings by the year 2030.)
Concreative will utilize construction 3D printing technology developed and patented by French company XtreeE, which brought on VINCI Construction as a shareholder and partner in 2017. XtreeE’s 3D printing platform uses a digitally-controlled deposition-based technology to extrude layers of a printable concrete material to build up large-scale structures. Compared to more traditional construction processes, XtreeE’s 3D printing technique offers greater design freedom and flexibility as well as reduced material waste and a lower carbon footprint.
Notably, the technology eliminates the need to work with conventional formwork, which is costly and limits the shape of concrete structures. By 3D printing concrete directly, complex structures can be achieved and new and innovative designs can be made. This, of course, opens the doors for custom structures and buildings. Further, the technology can be used on site, reducing the need for transportation and making it possible to build in more remote areas. According to Concreative, XtreeE’s technology can result in up to 70% cement savings.
“Concreative is the result of a combination of two favourable circumstances: the arrival at maturity of the technology a year ago, and the decision by the United Arab Emirates to become a major construction market using and promoting 3D printing,” commented Khalil Doghri, Middle East India Area Director at Freyssinet, which specializes in the construction and repair of engineering structures. “We applied the global approach that we are used to taking in our specialist civil engineering business activity. Beyond the technology provided by XtreeE, we developed the upstream and downstream services needed to put the architects’ ideas and the engineers’ requirements together and to put the goals of the Emirates into practice.”
It is worth noting that Concreative was born out of VINCI’s Leonard innovation laboratory. Through an entrepreneur program at the lab, the Concreative project was incubated and tested in real market conditions before being launched.