3D printed concrete blocks made with sustainable recycled material





3D Construction Printing, Recycled Material, Thermal Performances, Building envelope, Thechnical architecture, Building innovation and digitization


The use of recovered materials in building construction is one of the most effective strategies for reducing the environmental impacts of the construction sector. Innovative technologies such as 3D construction printing can be applied in combination with recycling strategies in order to optimise their performances also from an environmental point of view. In fact, several studies have proposed the processing of waste material into printable material. At the same time, performance studies must be conducted on the building components produced by these methods. This study proposes a methodological approach to design a 3D printable building component made with recycled materials considering the improvement of thermal performances. In particular, the approach is based on three steps: reuse strategy conception; target performance definition, modelling and iterative simulation; 3D printing setting. The methodological approach has been applied to a 3D printable block using as printable material a cement-based mortar with recycled aggregates and recycled insulating material. As a result, the component’s shape (interlocking and inspired by honeycombs) can be customised to achieve the required thermal performance by using recycled materials in the printing process.


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Author Biographies

Stelladriana Volpe, Politecnico di Bari

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale, del Territorio, Edile e di Chimica

Valentino Sangiorgio, D'Annunzio University of Chieti - Pescara

Department of Engineering and Geology

Andrea Petrella, Politecnico di Bari

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale, del Territorio, Edile e di Chimica

Michele Notarnicola, Politecnico di Bari

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale, del Territorio, Edile e di Chimica

Humberto Varum, Universidade do Porto

Faculdade de Engenharia

Francesco Fiorito, Politecnico di Bari

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale, del Territorio, Edile e di Chimica


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How to Cite

Volpe, S., Sangiorgio, V., Petrella, A., Notarnicola, M., Varum, H. and Fiorito, F. (2023) “3D printed concrete blocks made with sustainable recycled material”, VITRUVIO - International Journal of Architectural Technology and Sustainability, 8, pp. 70–83. doi: 10.4995/vitruvio-ijats.2023.18832.

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