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XtreeE: Additive Construction

Game-changing technology improves construction execution quality

ADVANCING THE CAUSE OF MORE MODERN CONSTRUCTION METHODS

The construction industry needs a digital revolution. Even though it is the world´s biggest employer, the industry has been posting profitability losses for over three decades. Absence of efficient collaboration, little use of digital technologies, increasing regulatory constraints; the construction sector has much to gain by adopting new building methods using additive construction. Greater creativity, more flexibility, less material waste, lower carbon footprint, lighter and sturdier structures, these are just some of the advantages put forth by XtreeE, a team of digital enthusiasts who believe it is finally time to free this industry from the constraints of its past. The project with the 3DEXPERIENCE Lab aims to industrialize the digitization of the construction industry to further advance its transformation.

French startup revolutionizes construction process with 3D printing and digital technologies

While one of the most booming industries in the world, the construction industry is also the only industry that has seen its profitability plunge over the last 30 years. Why? Partly because of more and more stringent regulations and constraints, and the fact that companies have simply been building the same way for decades (disciplines working in silos, absence of digital representation, poor or no lifecycle management).

The industry needs to reinvent itself.


While BIM (Building Information Modeling) has been gaining ground over the years in design, it does not solve all the industry´s ills. Infusing a more digital approach to design is the right approach but defeats the purpose if construction methods are not revamped as well. The industry is, therefore, challenged to improve the quality of execution while reducing costs. 
One innovative solution is taking root and it involves replacing traditional construction methods with 3D printing, also known as additive construction. The technique has been given a new twist by Philippe Morel, architect and founder of EZCT Architecture & Design Research, who brings his passion for 3D and the digital world to the table.

After three years collaborating with robotics manufacturer ABB, robotics software developer HAL Robotics, and concrete industry giant LafargeHolcim, Morel founded XtreeE to revolutionize architectural design and construction using advanced digital technologies and additive construction techniques. Thanks to this process, and freed from the constraints of linear concrete forms prevalently used in construction, XtreeE strives to liberate architects´ imaginations by providing them with the ability to design the most complex shapes and to see them come to life.

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Some advantages of additive construction:

  • It is good for the environment. Even though the construction industry recycles most of its excess materials, it also generates the greatest amount of waste. With additive construction, there is practically no waste at all. Only the exact quantity of materials are used and with recent advances in concrete, for example, structures end up being lighter and more robust.
  • Another advantage is that companies no longer need to transport materials like formwork or unused materials to and from the construction site, which adds to construction costs and increases environmental footprint.
  • Just about any form can be built. Architects have the freedom to innovate as their digital design data is fed into a robot that is programmed to layer materials with variable angles or thicknesses creating shapes that are simply not possible with traditional concrete forming.

Meet the team

XtreeE is a multidisciplinary and close-knit group of seasoned architects, some of which are professors with a passion for digital technology, junior architects who are very much aware of the latest innovations in our digital ecosystem, civil engineers, material research engineers, scientists and roboticists. Every team member shares the same ambition: to democratize the use of additive construction.

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Collaboration

XtreeE is working with the Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE Lab to industrialize the digitization of the construction industry to further advance its transformation. Dassault Systèmes provides XtreeE with access to its design, simulation and manufacturing solutions on the Cloud. It also created a community on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform so that people interested in XtreeE´s project can share ideas and contribute their experience and know-how. Finally, Dassault Systèmes provides the team at XtreeE with mentoring and consulting services on how to best use its solutions.

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