British construction and engineering firm Costain installed a 3D-printed concrete wastewater chamber at a United Utilities test facility in the UK. The choice to 3D-print the concrete chamber led to a decrease in cost and materials used.



ChangeMaker3D worked in partnership with United Utilities to successfully design, 3D-print and install a wastewater chamber at one of the utility company’s test facilities in Cheshire.Costain has supported United Utilities and ChangeMaker3D throughout the 12-month project to advise, deliver and install the first 3D printed concrete chamber for testing in the UK water sector.

Water sector takes the lead on an innovative technology known as ‘Printfrastructure’.‘Printfrastructure’ is shown to deliver a 25% reduction in carbon, 20% cost saving and 55% reduction in labour versus traditional methods.The 3D printed concrete water chamber was built-in under four hours and there was a significant reduction in the materials used.


Printfrastructure reduces requirement to work at height

It has also demonstrated safety benefits by reducing the requirement to work at height or in confined spaces.Gavin Stonard, Costain’s water technical development director said: “A 3D printed structure of this kind is ground-breaking within the UK water sector. We work with water and wastewater companies to develop solutions that improve water quality, affordability and resilience.

“Partnering with United Utilities has highlighted how technology can provide novel solutions to help overcome industry challenges on safety, and efficiency, whilst driving down carbon. 3D printing can help construction meet net zero goals
United Utilities’ chief engineer (Innovation), Lisa Mansell said: “This is important for us in realising our aim to drive efficiency and improvement in everything we do for the benefit of our customers.

“The future is exciting for water companies like United Utilities who are trailblazing innovation. We have a huge capital programme to deliver under tight deadlines.“Digital technologies such as 3D construction printing can drive efficient construction and help us meet our net zero goals for carbon.”