Handing over the keys to Europe’s largest 3D-printed building

Europe’s largest 3D-printed building nestles against Billie Holiday Straße in Heidelberg like a wavy curtain. It is precisely these waves that give the striking building its name: the Wavehouse. At the end of January 2024, the keys were handed over during a ceremony for use as a data center.

Heidelberg Materials supplies 333 t of 3D printed concrete

The building was constructed using the 3D printing technology between March 31 and July 17, 2023 in just around 170 printing hours. This was followed by interior work, which has now been completed. The impressive wave-shaped building is around 54 m long, 11 m deep and 9 m high – exceptional in its architectural aesthetics and innovation thanks to 3D construction printing and the 100% recyclable mineral 3D printed concrete. A major challenge was the realization of the undulating shape of the building. “With our 3D building material, we were able to represent the architects’ idea very well. The project in Heidelberg is yet another milestone for us in 3D concrete printing,” emphasizes Dr. Jörg Dietrich, Head of Engineering & Innovation and Head of Product Management at Heidelberg Materials Germany.

The high-tech 3D construction material was delivered just-in-time by silo truck and in close coordination with the construction management. Heidelberg Materials used exactly 333 t of its 3D material for the Wavehouse, which is easy to pump, features very good extrusion properties and enables efficient material use thanks to targeted design planning. The advanced material formulation has been optimized in terms of its CO2 footprint. It contains a binder with a CO2 reduction of 55% compared to pure Portland cement. The maximum grain thickness of 4 mm (instead of 2 mm) was applied for the first time. This reduces the binder content in the dry mix and improves the CO2 balance of the building material. The precise strength development and high dimensional accuracy of the 3D-printed concrete enabled the walls to have an overhang of up to 18 degrees in addition to the wave shape.

“We are used to having discussions on constructions sites. However, there weren’t any with the Wavehouse because we were only looking for solutions,” concludes Hans-Jörg Kraus, Managing Partner of developer KRAUSGRUPPE. The innovative 3D printing technology paves the way for an impressive building which not only reflects a completely new dimension – but also incorporates a remarkable architecturual aesthetic with its wave-like shape. The iconic building was designed by Mense-Korte ingenieure+architekten and SSV Architekten. PERI 3D Construction created the vertical elements of the building using its COBOD BOD2 3D construction printer. The tenant of the building and operator of the data center is Heidelberg iT.


Object Profile
» Project: 3D-printed Wavehouse, Heidelberg
» Client: KRAUSGRUPPE, Heidelberg
» partner: PERI 3D Construction
» Architecture firms: MENSE-KORTE consortium, Beckum, and SSV Architekten, Heidelberg
» 3D printed concrete: Heidelberg Materials high-tech 3D building material i.tech 3D
» Delivery quantity: 333 t
» Completion: 2024

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