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A continuously growing global population translates into an increasing the demand for new living spaces and infrastructures. As the cement industry is accountable for up to 8% of all global CO2 emissions, there is still space for innovative solutions in the construction industry.

Problem Statement: The sustainability of the construction industry represents a challenge. No taking away from effort that has been and is being made, because progress is certainly visible and impactful. The challenge centers around materials. Not just the production of these materials, but also their durability, how they are used and how they are transported across the world. Combine this with an industry heavily dictated by narrow cost margins and you see that there is little room for radical or disruptive change.

Scope for Innovation: Due to the sheer size of the construction industry, marginal improvements on a global scale can already make a big difference. Consistent implementation of innovative solutions is key in moving towards an increasingly sustainable industry. Each year, more and more novel technologies are being tested, commercialized and scaled. Think of decentralized, modular production plants to limit transportation needs, additives that allow concrete to heal itself to increase durability or additive manufacturing technologies to increase the usage of sustainable materials and limit waste streams. Within the 3D printing domain, we see various different use cases ranging from printing complete structure to walls and flooring to interior design features. The additive nature of this process automatically limits waste streams in the production process, but we can go one step further than printing cement. The sweet spot lies in combining this naturally sustainable with a sustainable material to print with.

You guessed it, our Solution of the Week does exactly that. Aectual is a Dutch 3D printing company that uses sustainable materials to create a wide range of products. Their architectural background allows for a strong focus on the design of these products, enabling their platform users to design custom elements from a range of templates, making this intricate piece of tech available to all. Aectual is able to print their products from sustainable materials such as a biopolymer they co-developed with Henkel or even recycled waste plastic. Want to try it out? The free beta version of their design dashboard is available through their website, just sign in and get to designing. 


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