Additive Manufacturing of Thermally Enhanced Lightweight Concrete Wall Elements with Closed Cellular Structures


  • Gido Dielemans TT Professorship Digital Fabrication, Department of Architecture, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
  • David Briels Chair of Building Technology and Climate Responsive Design, Department of Architecture, Technical University of Munich
  • Fabian Jaugstetter TT Professorship Digital Fabrication, Department of Architecture, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
  • Klaudius Henke Chair of Timber Structures and Building Construction, Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Munich
  • Kathrin Dörfler TT Professorship Digital Fabrication, Department of Architecture, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany



Additive Manufacturing, Lightweight concrete extrusion, Computational design, Thermal performance, Functionally graded materials


Building envelopes incorporate a multitude of functions, such as structure, room enclosure, insulation,
and aesthetic appeal, typically resulting in multi-material layered constructions. With the technology
of additive manufacturing, geometrical freedom can instead be utilised to integrate functional
requirements into mono-material building components. In this research, the additive manufacturing
method of lightweight concrete extrusion and its potential for thermal performance via geometric
customisation is explored. It investigates whether the insulating performance of wall components can
be increased through the creation of closed cellular structures, and further, whether these performance
features can be functionally graded by locally adapting the geometric properties. A design tool for closedcell wall geometries is created, which integrates lightweight concrete extrusion related fabrication
constraints and takes into account thermal and structural performance considerations. Through the
simulation of heat transfer, generated wall geometries are analysed for their thermal performance.
By calculating the layer cycle times and determining the overhang during extrusion, the structural
capacity during printing is validated. Finally, experimental manufacturing of 1:1 scale architectural
prototypes is executed to test the feasibility of the concept.


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How to Cite

Dielemans, G., Briels, D., Jaugstetter, F., Henke, K., & Dörfler, K. (2021). Additive Manufacturing of Thermally Enhanced Lightweight Concrete Wall Elements with Closed Cellular Structures . Journal of Facade Design and Engineering, 9(1), 59–72.