ISLAMABAD       -      The construction industry is currently facing two major challenges: the demand for sustainable infrastructure and the need to repair deteriorating buildings, bridges, and roads. While concrete is the material of choice for many construction projects, it has a large carbon footprint, resulting in high waste and energy expenditure. Today, researchers report progress toward a sustainable building material made from local soil, using a 3D printer to create a load-bearing structure.

The researchers will present their results at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting & Expo. ACS is holding the meeting through Thursday. It features more than 6,000 presentations on a wide range of science topics. “The environmental impact of the construction industry is an issue of growing concern,” says Sarbajit Banerjee, Ph.D., the project’s principal investigator. “Some researchers have turned to additive manufacturing, or building structures layer by layer, which is often done with a 3D printer. That advance has begun to transform this sector in terms of reducing waste, but the materials used in the process need to be sustainable as well.