Brief 

Henn plans to build the world’s first building with carbon fiber-reinforced concrete at the Technical University of Dresden campus in Germany. The concrete reinforced with carbon fibers is both lighter and stronger than concrete reinforced with steel fibers, although it is also more expensive.

 

Insight

German architecture firm Henn, along with researchers at the Technical University of Dresden, has been working to create the first building in the world made of concrete reinforced by carbon fibers instead of steel.

Labeled as the world’s first building made of carbon concrete, the Cube is currently under construction on the Technical University of Dresden campus. Henn is working with the university’s Institute for Solid Construction, led by professor Manfred Curbach.

The experimental 220-square-meter building is a showcase project from the “C³ – Carbon Concrete Composite” research initiative on innovative building materials funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Through this project, carbon concrete is being researched and developed as a new combination of carbon and high-performance concrete.

According to the researchers, this type of concrete has the same structural strength as concrete reinforced with steel rebar but uses much less concrete. The concrete is reinforced with carbon fibers, which are bonded together using polymers. The fibers then come together in a kind of matric that the concrete is poured onto.

According to Henn, the resulting material is four times lighter and four times stronger than normal reinforced concrete. It can also reduce carbon dioxide emissions from construction by up to 50%.

 

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