Workshop Title:

Digital Fabrication of Low-carbon Concrete for Modern Methods of Construction


March 20th, 2023 (GMT)


Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Brunel University London


  • 3D printing
  • Digital fabrication
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Concrete
  • Low-carbon
  • Modern methods of construction

Workshop Chair:

Dr. Seyed Ghaffar
Associate Professor in Brunel University London

Personal Bio:

Dr. Seyed Ghaffar is a Chartered Civil Engineer (CEng, MICE), a Member of the Institute of Concrete Technology (MICT) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). He is the leader of Additive Manufacturing Technology in Construction Research Group (AMTC). The focus of AMTC is on valorising construction and demolition waste using materials science and 3D printing to achieve the circular economy goals of sustainable construction. Dr. Ghaffar's research covers a number of construction materials, with a focus on the development of low-carbon technologies suitable for new and retrofitting applications by combining materials sciences and innovative technologies. He has been the PI or Co-I of ~£6M on 8 grants from EPSRC, British Council, and the EU H2020. Two projects worth noting are: "Direct Writing of Cementitious Inks to Scaffolds with Complex Microarchitectures (DiWoCIS) "and "Digital fabrication and integration of Material reuse for environmentally friendly cementitious composite building blocks (DigiMat)". Dr. Ghaffar is the Executive Editor of the Journal of Results in Engineering (Elsevier). He recently edited a book titled "Innovation in construction - A Practical Guide to Transforming the Construction Industry".

Workshop Description:


Additive manufacturing (AM) of construction materials has been one of the emerging advanced technologies that aim to minimise the supply chain in the construction industry through autonomous production of building components directly from digital models without human intervention and complicated formworks. However, technical challenges needs to be addressed for the industrial implementation of AM, e.g. materials formulation standardization, and interfacial bonding quality between the deposited layers amongst others. AM as one of the most highlighted key enabling technologies has the potential to create disruptive solutions, the key for its successful implementation is multidisciplinary effort in synergy involving materials science, architecture/design, computation, and robotics. There are crucial links between the material design formulations and the printing system for the manufacturing of the complex 3D geometries. Understanding and optimising the mix design for fresh rheology of materials and sufficient adhesion/cohesion of interface can allow the incorporation of complexity in the geometry.


To combat climate change, green and eco-friendly resources along with advanced digital technologies are being developed. The construction industry is also facing significant changes in its scale and distribution. With the EU facing resource constraints, new innovations are urgently needed. The EU-funded DigiMat project aims to satisfy this need by promoting a greener circular economic model for production and consumption. Specifically, the project will develop a novel 3D printing technology to design and develop environmentally friendly cementitious feedstock using construction and demolition waste as well as other industrial by-products suitable for structural load-bearing building blocks.

Scope and Information for Participants:

The emergence of green and eco-friendly resources, coupled with demands for advanced digital technologies for conceptual structures/designs, are causing changes in the scale and distribution of the construction industry. The increasing resource constraints that the EU is facing strongly affect its competitiveness and the quality of life of individuals. Important gains in resource efficiency can be made by replacing current linear economic models with circular models of production and consumption, which results, at the same time, in a substantial reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.


The workshop started with an introduction given by the Chair and the attendees were around 50. The workshop was being recorded and the attendees were allowed to ask questions during the presentation. The outline of the workshop was the following:

  • Transformation of the construction industry
  • Introduction to digital fabrication
  • Low-carbon concrete
  • 3D printing of low carbon concrete
  • Sustainability and LCA of 3D printing in construction

The topic of the workshop was of interest to the attendees as reflected by their questions during the workshop. The main points and key takeaway point of the workshop was about the need for creative ideas and thinking outside of the box to solve and combat the global challenges which the built environment is facing. Digital fabrication can potentially transform the way building environment constructs and with the use of low-carbon materials, sustainable development is within reach.

Access to Workshop:

CONF-MSS 2023 Workshop: Digital Fabrication of Low-carbon Concrete for Modern Methods of Construction


Brunel University London, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge UB8 3PH


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