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New industrial technologies for tailor-made concrete structures at mass customised prices

Final Report Summary - TAILORCRETE (New industrial technologies for tailor-made concrete structures at mass customised prices)

Executive Summary:
The main goal of TailorCrete is to develop and demonstrate an industrialised process for producing unique, tailor-made concrete structures using a radically new and cost effective approach. The concept involves both on-site and pre-fabricated elements and both load-carrying and facade elements. TailorCrete combines the knowledge resources of architects, designers, concrete technologists, civil and structural engineers, robot experts with the practical experiences of key players in the construction sector in a 4-year collaborative research project.

The digital design research activities have resulted in reports investigating the opportunities with complex shapes in new digital architecture and innovative designs of the prototypes and full-scale demonstrators produced in TailorCrete. The designs of these structures incorporate and demonstrate all the technologies developed by the TailorCrete project.

To enable a seamless data flow from file to factory, a digital design tool has been developed. The design system is developed on top of an existing host platform, a widely used CAD program, available on the market today. It consist of a real time design tool, a formwork planning tool and a fabrication tool which allows the user to export fabrication data for different fabrication.

Automation technology activities have been applied to automate two of the tasks that, in traditional construction industry, are the major obstacle for producing tailor-made concrete structures, namely, processing of the reinforcement and production of formwork. Using robot technology, methods to fabricate non-standardized formwork and bending of reinforcement in 3D have been developed.

The shape and the surface texture of a TailorCrete structure may vary from very complex to less complex and a final TailorCrete structure may contain elements characterized by both these phenomena. Thus, three different formwork systems being applicable to cope with these different demands have been developed: Multi-edge Formwork (for less complex structural parts, Wax Formwork and Milled Formwork (both for complex structural parts).

A thorough analysis and tests of possible reinforcement solutions that fulfil the TailorCrete requirements as regards automation and complex shapes has been carried out. It has been concluded that traditional reinforcement cannot be excluded. Often, the traditional reinforcement will be combined with other reinforcement types, where steel fibres seem to be the best solution but also glass fibres, polymer fibres and textile reinforcement are considered realistic.

A crucial factor for the casting of complicated structures is the availability of a robust SCC (Self Compacting Concrete) being able to fill out all corners of the formwork without vibration. A rheological approach based on CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) was selected for simulation of the form filling process. The work has also focused on surface appearance related to particular the form-filling process. The results and experiences learned have resulted in two guidelines for casting and mix design.

To demonstrate the applicability of the TailorCrete process, full scale prototype demonstrations have been carried out. These demonstrations are crucial to be able to make a realistic validation of the technologies developed in TailorCrete. The main full scale demonstrator has been finalised in Denmark during the early spring 2014.

Assessment of the TailorCrete concept has been performed by life cycle assessments of cost, sustainability, safety and aesthetics. After analysing the whole life cycle of a concrete structure, from the design to the demolishing phase, the main conclusion is that the TailorCrete technologies and systems affect dominantly the design and the construction phases.

The full exploitation of TailorCrete results may depend upon possible barriers in existing codes and standards. Work has been undertaken to determine if the relevant standards and codes contained obstacles for the TailorCrete Concept. The review of the current standards and codes has resulted in recommendations for and subsequent modifications of the research work during the project period. After these modifications it can be concluded that there are no major obstacles for the use of the TailorCrete concept in the current codes and standards.

Project Context and Objectives:
According to the European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP), the construction of buildings in the EU consumes around 200 million m3 of concrete annually. This accounts for over approximately 50% of materials, energy, and labour usage in the construction sector. Of this amount, the costs for preparation of the formwork can amount to 75% of total costs. The goal of the current proposal is to introduce a radically new technology for casting concrete using robotics which replaces the use of traditional formwork and thus enables greater flexibility in producing singular concrete structures with different geometric designs. TailorCrete will initiate a transition from the rectangular monotony of today’s industrialised mass concrete construction that dominates the European landscape, to new industrialised production of unique concrete structures without the need for expensive and labour-intensive manual construction processes based on traditional craftsmanship.

The construction sector plays a significant role in the European economy with an annual turnover of nearly 1000 billion Euros accounting for over 10 % of European GDP in 2006. According to the European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP) the construction sector involves more than 2.5 million enterprises and employs more than 13 million people (ECTP, 2007). Furthermore, the sector is projected to grow even more in the coming years as a result of increased infrastructural development in the new EU member countries and reconstruction and replacement of older structures in the west. Consequently, there is a tremendous need for the EU construction sector to adopt new industrialised processes in order to be able to meet these projected demands. In accordance with the 2030 targets set under the relaunched Lisbon Strategy (2005), the construction sector must shift from a resource-based to a knowledge-based industry, reduce its environmental footprint by over 30% by adopting less energy-consuming and less CO2-emmitting technologies, and be able to meet demands of European citizens.

Under various projects in FP5 and FP6, the EU has undertaken a thorough review of the needs of the construction sector. Through its E-CORE project the ECTP has identified three thematic challenges that the construction sector must meet. These include 1) Meeting client requirements, 2) Improving sustainability, and 3) Technological transformation. These three thematic areas have been further broken down into specific priority areas from which programmes and projects may be developed.

The idea behind the current proposal is to develop a range of technologies that contribute to all three research themes and address many of the specific priority areas. In order to optimise the impact of these technologies in the transformation of the entire construction sector, the project will focus on the concrete subsector. The reason is that concrete is the sine qua non of the global construction sector. According to the acting Chief Executive of the British Cement Association (BCA), Pal Chana, “…concrete is the second most consumed substance on the planet after water. It is essential for our homes, schools, hospitals, roads, bridges and much more.” The EU is a huge consumer of concrete with an estimated per capita consumption of 4 metric tons per EU citizen annually. This means that even small improvements per unit of concrete structure amounts to enormous improvements for the construction sector as a whole.

The main goal of TailorCrete is to develop and demonstrate an industrialised process for producing unique, tailor-made concrete structures using a radically new and cost effective approach. The concept involves both on-site and pre-fabricated elements and both load-carrying and façade elements. Included are the development, testing and validation of a number of core technologies in all stages in the construction process from design to construction. In order to reach the overall goal the following specific S&T objectives are identified:

1. Review and assessment of the existing parametric design tools that give architects new design possibilities to create architecture with greater complexity and to handle digital information and automatically manufacture building components. The project will create prototypes of digital architecture in CAD format with focus on the singular concrete structures. Parts of these examples will be manufactured in full scale in the project in order to demonstrate the new integrated process chain in practice.

2. Development of formwork systems and materials that can be processed using partially automated processes or robot technology. The aim is to develop formwork systems that are flexible, sustainable, and reusable and give new design possibilities. New, alternative formwork materials will require alternative release agents and/or coatings to enable easy removal of the formwork and to provide the required concrete surfaces after de-moulding.

3. Development of reinforcement types and reinforcement processing techniques suitable for formwork with complicated geometries. In many situations formwork with complex shapes will put special demands on the reinforcement configuration. Thus, the research will concentrate on developing new and innovative reinforcement processing techniques suitable for complex formwork geometries. Not only conventional types of reinforcement but also new and more flexible reinforcement types like fibres (steel, synthetic, carbon, etc.) and textile reinforcement will be used.

4. Development of digital fabrication techniques for singular formwork suitable for industrialised production with a high degree of automation. The research will focus on improving technology-based industrial processes and industrial robots for one-off production with the control unit of the robot automatically generating the movements of the robot from a 3D CAD construction drawing (Fig. 1.1.2). New software will be developed to suit the tools and formwork materials chosen. Furthermore, the use of fully automated and semi-automated processes for certain tasks will be investigated as an intermediary step towards complete robotisation of the construction process.

5. Review and assessment of currently available design tools with the aim to identifying suitable approaches towards implementing a process-driven design system. This will be required to bridge the gap between design and production. It is aimed to develop a design system and design tools to match the formwork and fabrication process established for the project.

6. Simulation of form filling with self-compacting concrete (SCC) and optimisation of the concrete composition to ensure that the SCC is capable of flowing into all parts of the formwork. The potential for the use of CFD technology (Computational Fluid Dynamics) in combination with a micro mechanical model for simulation of the flow of SCC in a mould will be investigated. The SCC form filling simulations will be tested in real scale formworks to verify their properties.

7. Demonstration of the developed technologies will be undertaken through small-scale prototypes at laboratory scale as well as in full-scale building projects.

8. A life cycle assessment of the TailorCrete technologies will be undertaken in terms of cost, environmental impact, durability as well as construction safety, security and aesthetics.

9. Identification of any technical obstacles to the adoption of the technologies arising from prevailing EU or other national norms and standards as well as EU directives and regulations. Possible contribution to the development of new or modification of existing standards and norms will also be examined.

The exploitation, of specific project results, by consortium members and the construction sector as a whole will be thoroughly investigated. Several activities for specifically targeted dissemination of project findings through the internet, publications, conferences, workshops and demonstration events, will be undertaken.

Project Results:
The work of the TailorCrete project is performed by 10 interactive work packages (WPs). In this section the main results from each WP are described.

WP1 Future Digital Architecture
WP1 was in charge of providing the theoretical background to TailorCrete as preparing designs for multiple test cases.

Two catalogues analysing opportunities in future digital architecture has been prepared. The first catalogue “Reasons for architecture to employ complex shapes” describes the conditions wherein it is meaningful to employ geometries. The catalogue also documents the demand in the construction market for complex shapes by analysing recently designed and/or build structures. Thereby the catalogue provides a solid foundation for the relevance of the project. The second catalogue investigates the future of digital architecture and focuses mainly on the changes in the modes of collaboration in the construction industry as new tools define the workflow between architects, planners and builders.

The largest bulk of WP1’s work has been to design and supply 3D files to the project partners. The supplied files have in part been used as reference geometries for partners to use as background material, as well as serving as work files for executing prototypes and full scale demonstrator. WP1 has constantly providing the WPs with design proposals. Total twenty one design proposals have been developed, out of which 3 were executed as prototypes.

The latest and most complex task in this WP has been to design the full-scale demonstrator project incorporating all the developments achieved by the project partners. In spring 2012 a first design for the full scale demonstrator planned to be built in Spain was made. At first, a large housing development project in Asturias, Spain (the EcoJove project) was identified as a site for the full-scale demonstrator and WP1 initiated contact with the local architects to specify the site and function of the full-scale demonstrator. However due to the unfortunate withdrawal of the key partner in for this full scale demonstrator, these planes were cancelled.
Following the changes in the partnership status of TailorCrete, it was decided that the new site for the full-scale demonstrator will be in Aarhus, Denmark in Paschal’s facilities. As of September 2012 the design of the full-scale demonstrator has been distributed to all partners. Besides satisfying the requirement of the new client, the new design incorporates all the parameters identified at the March 2012 STCC meeting that the TailorCrete demonstrator project must meet, namely: being a load carrying structure and its geometry allows for testing construction of high to medium curvature with the EPS and multi-edge formwork system, robot bent rebars, SCC form filling, fibre reinforcement, TC design tool, off-site manufacturing and on-site construction.

WP2 New formwork types
The aim of this WP was to select and modify formwork materials that can be processed using automated or semi-automated systems and robot technology and associated load-bearing structures that fulfil requirements of flexibility, sustainability, robustness, reusability and cost effectiveness, i.e. formwork that provide new design possibilities.

Three formwork systems have been developed: Multi-edge Formwork, Wax Formwork and Milled Formwork:

The Multi-edge Formwork consists of special cut triangular or square panels joint together on top of a telescope girder system making the final shape of the formwork. The system is partially reusable due to the usage of mainly standard part. The system is suitable to cast double curved slabs with medium/low curvature. The system comprises special cut plywood sheets placed on top of a flexible formwork system that consists of beams and adjustable telescopic girders placed in a grid of 1,2m x 1,2m.

The usage of a standard shoring system combined with a new developed telescopic girders makes the formwork system partially reusable, and it can be used, with some limitations, to cast double curved slabs. The telescopic girders are calculated to take a load from up to 700 mm of concrete.
The girders can be used for normal slaps and especially bridges. To cast a normal bridge the contractors usually use wooden trusses as the shape giving formwork. The telescopic girder system can be substituted by the wooden trusses. By designing the beams so they can manage bridges, the system will improve the way the bridges are done today, both in accordance to the environment and economy.

The Wax Formwork consists of moulded wax formwork blocks using a robot forming method in order to give the shape of the blocks. The system is fully reusable since the wax can be melted and reshaped. The system is suitable to cast double curved structures with low, medium and high curvature. Wax formwork elements are fabricated by pouring molten wax on a flexible mold. After curing, the blocks can be assembled on-site on standard scaffolding ready for concrete casting. After striking the formwork, the wax elements can be fully re-used by re-melting and molding them into new shapes.

For the fabrication of the Wax Formwork elements a method to form the flexible mould using robot technology has been developed. Its 36 actuators (positioned by an industrial robot) are forming a flexible sheet. Once it is brought in shape, hot wax is poured on the surface to form the wax negative for the formwork blocks of the concrete positive.

The Milled Formwork consists of standard plywood plates and milled shape-giving formwork parts in light-weight materials coated with a rubber membrane. The system is almost fully reusable since the used light-weight material can be recycled and reshaped. The system is suitable to cast double curved structures with low, medium and high curvature and it is possible to make complex architectural details.

The material for the shape defining structure – the milled volumes – is chosen to be different light-weight materials. For the development expanded polystyrene (EPS) has been selected due to its tailor-made properties. In cooperation with WP4 a tailor-made 5-axis milling strategy has been developed in order reduce the robot milling time significantly.

In order to achieve acceptable release properties, smooth concrete surfaces as well as ensuring reusability of the formwork and recycling the waste material a flexible membrane has been introduced to the Milled Formwork. The membrane – a transparent silicone membrane – is attached on each milled block of EPS.

WP3 Reinforcement types
In many situations formwork with complex shapes will put special demands on the reinforcement configuration. Thus, the research has concentrated on developing new and innovative reinforcement processing techniques suitable for complex formwork geometries.

An investigation on reinforcement methods suitable for the TailorCrete-concept has been prepared. Within WP3, productivity studies of different alternatives of production, manipulation and assembly of steel reinforcement was carried out. Two specific cases were studied more in detail: a singular façade element with certain complexity and a double curved wall. For these examples, production time were compared between traditional on-site production, on-site prefabrication, industrial prefabrication of today, and prefabrication using the processing technique developed within TailorCrete. The comparisons indicated that in relatively conventional structures, e.g. the reinforcement cage studied, the robotized production most probably needs important improvements to be competitive against current techniques. However, for structures in which the geometrical complexity is higher, e.g. the double curved wall, the competitiveness of the robot processing increases. The robotic processing of reinforcement allows transferring activities from the worksite to more controlled environments (such as factories) or, when too expensive, will allow moving robots to certain locations in the worksite, when space is available, to manipulate and produce the reinforcement elements, substituting human workers in these unsafe activities.

One identified practical barrier for design of complex geometries are compatibility problems when transferring information from 3D CAD drawings to finite element analysis programs. This has been dealt with and can now be handled in a reasonably rational way.

Different methods on how to include the positive structural effects of fibre reinforcement were studied. The possibility to design steel fibre reinforced concrete beams and slabs with available guidelines such as the FIB Model Code 2010 was investigated, in order to identify possible barriers in codes and standards regarding design calculations of load-carrying capacity, deflections and crack widths. Furthermore, steel fibre reinforced beams and slabs, including ordinary reinforcement, were analysed using nonlinear finite element analyses to develop and verify a more advanced modelling method. Good agreement was shown when experiments were compared with FE analysis; however, the design methods presented in FIB Model Code 2010 underestimated the capacity. For beams, the underestimation increased with increasing fibre contents.

To demonstrate the increased load-carrying capacity obtained when fibres are used, two-way slabs of three types were cast and tested. Another aim of these tests was to investigate the load distribution; the possibility for redistribution when the reinforcement in one direction starts yielding, and how fibres affect the behaviour. In total, nine slabs were produced and tested: three with ordinary reinforcement only; three with a combination of reinforcement and fibres, and three with fibres only. The results indicate that the fibres influenced both the load distribution and the ability to redistribute in a positive way. Furthermore, non-linear finite element analyses of these tests were carried out, with different detailing levels using either shell or solid elements. The results showed that the finite element analyses could describe the behaviour in a reasonably good way.

The possibility to use textile reinforcement is not the first priority in TailorCrete; still it was considered interesting to study, especially for applications including very thin shells. Therefore, experiments were carried out to reveal basic properties. In a pilot study, three different textiles were cast into linear tiles and tested in 4-point bending to determine which one performs best. These tests were also modeled using non-linear finite element methods; the results were promising, i.e. the analyses were capable of describing the response rather well. Furthermore, a thin double-curved shell was produced. Thus, it was shown that it is possible to produce double-curved specimens using textile reinforcement. However, if the structure is to be load-carrying, it is most essential that a small splice length can be used; to arrange the textile in a double-curved shape it must be divided into relatively small pieces which results in many overlaps. Therefore, the possibility to splice textile reinforcement was investigated in tests, together with the general behaviour of textile reinforced concrete in load-carrying structures.

A technology for steel fibre reinforcement quality monitoring system was developed and verified in field tests. The aim of this task was to make it possible to guarantee the quality of fibre reinforced concrete: type, amount and distribution of fibres are checked during placement of the concrete. A technology for fibre reinforcement quality monitoring system through inductive measurements was developed and verified. After laboratory tests, a prototype was built and used in field tests, and after that, a stand-alone steel fibre reinforcement concrete quality control system was built. The techniques developed give promising results and can form the base for the development of an industrial quality control device for SFRC.

WP4 Digital fabrication techniques using automation and robots
As the number of different processes involved in the production of tailor-made concrete structures is quite large, many types of production equipment are required. In order to be able to consider different processes in this work package, a robot has been chosen as the major automation equipment. With appropriate tools mounted, the robot can be used for many different processes. The fact that a robot is very flexible can be exploited to the full in this type of project where the production is mainly one-of-a-kind. The planning and programming will be carried out off-line meaning that the equipment will be able to operate full-time.

One focus has been on production of steel reinforcement for uniquely shaped concrete elements. A test setup with a Fanuc R-2000iB robot has been established at Gibotech (DK). Processes addressed: Handling of steel bars, attaching two steel bars, bending of steel bars. The bending process must comply with EN 1992-1-1:2004 (E). Here it is described that the bending must be carried out using a mandrel. The minimum diameter of the mandrel must be equal to four times the diameter of the rebar.

In order to handle the complete production of a reinforcement structure, a prototype of a production setup with two robots has been designed. Robot 1 is taking care of the tasks involving feeding, bending and transportation of rebars and is mounted with a gripping tool. A floor mounted gripper with a mandrel is used for feeding and bending. Robot 2 is mounted with a binding tool. Furthermore a flexible fixture is used to hold the reinforcement structure during production. For the handling and bending processes, new tools have been designed. Especially the floor mounted gripper has been improved. A mandrel which makes it possible to bend in any direction has been added. Also a cutting tool is included. Concerning the binding process, no automatic tools are currently available at the market. A manual binding tool has been chosen and a modification has been designed in order to mount the tool on the robot and to be controlled by software.
In order to make the off-line simulation it must be possible to compute the state (the shape) of a rebar at any time during the reinforcement production. As the rebar deflects due to gravity and forces from the robot when moving, a model of the deflection must be made. It means that we must be able to solve the dynamic equations describing the deflection of the rebar. Therefore a mathematical model describing the deflection was made.

A dynamics engine incorporated in RobWork is used in the framework for simulating the gravity impact on the reinforcement bars when bending the bars and to calculate the position for the robot hand. This dynamic engine is fully implemented in the reinforcement framework and the basic parts of the framework is designed and implemented.

To comply with the dynamics engine, a rebar is modeled by a number of straight cylinders that are connected by a number of spherical joints. The spherical joints have two purposes: to model where the rebar is bend by the robot, here the joint is fixed at the bend angle, and to model the deflection due to gravity and movement of the rebar by the robot, here the joint is adjusted dynamically to model the deflection.

A custom flexible mould was developed specifically for the forming of the re-useable wax formwork elements. The mould consists of a square top surface with a side length of 1m. The top surface rests on a flipping table with 6x6 CNC actuated rods that allow bringing it into a defined shape. The mould uses the lab’s industrial robot to push the telescopic rods in place before blocking them with an electromagnetic locking system.

In the planning of the milling tasks there are a number of potential problems to solve. It must be ensured that the robot does not collide with itself, the environment or the workpiece. Furthermore a compensation for the robot deformation must be made. These problems are solved offline by the simulation framework automatically ensuring collision avoidance and deformation compensation.
The robot deflection model and the milling force prediction model have been combined into a deformation compensation, which has been implemented verified experimentally.

The simulation framework based on the open source robotic framework RobWork has been designed and implemented. It is important to understand what a computer simulation can contribute with in a development of robotic applications and therefore we will give a short description of the computer simulation concept. Computer simulation is used in many fields such as weather forecasting, flight simulators etc. A computer simulation can give a virtual environment that predict and plan a physical process from a mathematical model of the desired problem. Some problems can be solved without using a computer simulation with empirical development in robotic applications if the problem is straightforward.

WP5 Fabrication based design tools
The TailorCrete design system is to act as the conceptual framework for a software package that enables a file to factory fabrication process of the newly developed TailorCrete formwork and reinforcement technologies. It furthermore enables the delivery of design relevant fabrication information to the hands of the architect. In order to facilitate the above described seamless flow of information between different partners, the design system defines a structure and relationships for key elements in the planning of concrete building parts.

As the most cost-prohibitive and diverse items in the construction process of concrete structures, the major focus of work to date has addressed formwork systems. Three specific software tools address the different requirements of the use cases defined. The tools are built upon the CAD platform selected. Each tool is based on a plug-in software architecture, that decouples the fabrication technology from the tool. The tools build upon each other and deliver input to each other in the form of geometry and data. All three tools load the same formwork plugins. In order for this software infrastructure to work, the programming interfaces for formworks have to be implemented.

The three tools that address the architectural design, formwork planning and fabrication have been implemented:

The first tool – the Real Time Design Tool – addresses the building design use case, providing real-time information to a designer conceiving a concrete structure. It evaluates and displays information about the potential application of a selected formwork as it is designed and edited providing feedback on both efficiency and surface patterning. For each formwork, there are algorithms computing the geometric limits for which it is applicable and a ‘construction efficiency’ measure based on specific parameters of the system.

The second tool is the Formwork Planning Tool. The scope is to aid in the detailed planning of formwork systems for a predefined form. With this tool, a user can establish a hierarchy of formwork systems to be employed, typically spanning from the simplest (i.e. cheapest, geometrically most restrictive) to the most complex. Each formwork has specific controls to specify detailed settings affecting both appropriate application and, later, actual formwork generation. Once all formworks intended for use have been initialized, the user can start the formwork generation cascade. This cascade begins with the first formwork in the list, populating as much of the geometry as applicable and handing down the remainders to the next, where the process starts over.

The third tool – the Fabrication Tool – addresses the fabrication use case and thus works on the already generated formwork elements. The scope of the tool is to break up formwork elements into single parts and prepare these for fabrication in an adequate fabrication cell. A central issue in this process is the fact that fabrication information cannot be generated on a description of shape alone. Geometric elements can differ in materiality, edge conditions and many other parameters that are completely formwork-related. This is addressed by the introduction of a common fabrication interface known to both formwork and fabrication cell. It comprises a data structure holding geometry as well as additional fabrication information. This is possible through the pre-definition of a finite set of operation types based on real-world experience, e.g. n-axis-cutting, drilling, stacking etc. Output of this tool can be any kind of fabrication data. It is not covered by the tools anymore and therefore is not restricted in any way. In order to loosely couple geometry and fabrication procedures a XML like fabrication language called OFL (Open Fabrication Language) has been developed. It describes a combination of geometry and fabrication operations.

The requirements for the reinforcement design system have been defined. A survey of state of the art methods in the building industry has been made and a summary has been produced. The design system for reinforcement regarding the Architectural Design use case and the Planning use case follow a semi-automated route. This approach focuses on a set of small and simple commands that facilitate and augment the design and analysis of reinforcement planning, by simplifying common tasks and ease data exchange. The design system for reinforcement regarding the Fabrication use case is handled by the same setup as the fabrication export for formwork. The interfaces for this use case have been adapted to address additional reinforcement requirements. Firstly several simple tools for reinforcement curve generation have been developed. Secondly, a new reinforcement fabrication process is being developed in WP4. The Formwork Fabrication Tool has been adapted to implement the new software interfaces defined in 5.2. It is now able to also provide reinforcement fabrication capabilities.

WP6 Form filling with SCC
WP6 has focused on the development of tools to support contractors and concrete producers when SCC (Self-Compacting Concrete) or SFRSCC (Steel fibre reinforced Self-Compacting Concrete) is to be applied for unique concrete structures. The achievements include two new guidelines titled “Guideline on the casting of unique concrete structures” and “Guideline on mix design of SCC and SFRSCC”, and a numerical tool to simulate concrete flow. The “Guideline on casting of unique concrete structures” focuses on a so-called rheological approach to SCC castings. It includes guidelines on how to specify the rheological properties of SCC for unique concrete structures taking into account e.g. the shape of the structure, reinforcement configuration and inlet positions, and guidelines how to measure the rheological properties applying standard test methods such as the slump flow test and the V-funnel test. The “Guideline on mix design of SCC and SFRSCC” focuses on how to optimize the mix composition of SCC and SFRSCC to obtain the required rheological properties. The guidelines on mix design are based on the development and of a material model, which is based on the so-called compressible packing model. The numerical model for simulation of concrete flow is based on the free software called OOFEM. The software has been further developed in the TailorCrete project to include fibre orientation relevant to SFRSCC and new boundary conditions, taking into account slip with friction and penetration with resistance.

Interested users can access the software here where tutorials and examples are presented.

WP7 Execution of Full-Scale prototypes
This WP involves demonstration of the developed technologies undertaken through small-scale prototypes at laboratory scale as well as full-scale demonstration.

The work of WP7 has been characterized by the planning and execution of a number of laboratory-scale prototypes and especially four larger-scale prototypes. The latter are presented in the following.

First larger prototype – a single curve wall element with holes - was produced at factory emulating real on-site processes. Several tests have been performed over these elements to evaluate the fibre orientation and distribution.

Second larger prototype – a double curved wall element – produced at factory but emulating real on-site processes. The TailorCrete technologies to be validated were the use of FRSCC (synthetic/metallic fibres) as secondary reinforcement (interaction between fibres and rebars) and the use of milled EPS blocks applying different coating elements (polyurethane foam and silicon membrane) for a double curve element (assembly systems, interaction with traditional formwork, joints and edges evaluation, etc.).

Third larger prototype – a bus stop planned to be built at the ETH Campus area in Zürich, Switzerland – should demonstrate especially the developed Wax Formwork and integrated design-production-fabrication process through the use of new digital design software tools.

The Fabrication Tool was prototypically implemented to generate fabrication data for the robot. Fabrication data included: Robotic mould actuation, formwork element back milling, formwork element sides milling, and laser scanner tolerance analysis. The bus stop was planned to be cast with a combination of double sided formwork for the lower part and single sided formwork for the upper part. In order to achieve the same concrete colour the same water cement ration is used for both parts.

In order to test the processes involved a 1:1 Mock-Up of 4 wax panels in size was been fabricated. The mock-up was located at the transition from single sided to double sided formwork elements.

Main conclusions after the casting of the mock-up were that the application of the Real Time Design Tool for formwork helped to fine tune the design and keep it within the possibilities of the wax formwork technology. The Wax Formwork implementation of the Planning and Fabrication Tools showed to be time consuming due to the formwork still being under development, while the design was already under way. The fabrication of the wax formwork provided several challenges which made it impossible to execute the full-scale prototype. Among these challenges was the shrinkage/creep of the wax during long term storage. A wax formulation with acceptable properties could be found but further research into the material composition of the wax is advisable.

The final full-scale demonstrator (FSD) – a full size double curve thin shell type structure – was planned to be located in Paschal’s facilities (Aarhus, Denmark). The element will serve as a storage element to protect formworks and other auxiliary means from snow and rain.

The element has been designed taking into account those two aspects: comply with the required functionality and allow for the highest number of TailorCrete technologies to be demonstrated which was: The fabrication based design tool, Milled Formwork, Multi-edge Formwork, special designed SCC and automatically processed steel reinforcement.

The planning tool developed in WP5 was used to provide the layout for the EPS formwork system, focusing on the optimal combination of blocks to ensure reusability and cost-effectiveness. Based on the digital model of the final structure, the Tailor Crete developed software – a plug-in for the 3D modelling software Rhinoceros – was used to automatically generate the formwork layout. From this layout robot programming for each formwork part was generated using the software PowerMill.

From the producer, the EPS is cast in big blocks of approx. 1200x1400x4800 mm. and hereafter rough cut using hot-wire into smaller blocks. Each of the smaller blocks were cut with hot-wire into two halves representing a rough version of the inner- and outer formwork. Each of the two halves where then milled using robot technology into the exact geometries based on the digital model including drilling of holes for the tie-rods. The inner- and outer formwork were transported from Taastrup to Aarhus (approx. 300 km.) in two containers. In order to ensure an easy assembling of the formwork, an overview of how the formwork parts were packed in each container was sent to the construction site. At the construction site the formwork parts were assembled into the final formwork structure. The Multi-edge Formwork was produced mainly on-site and assembled after the first vertical casting.

Due to schedule and budget constraints, only the reinforcement of the demonstrator’s most difficult zones has been produced by the robots. The participation of robots in the reinforcement process has direct implication in the phase of the reinforcement design since, as the use of 3D rebars is an option, it becomes necessary to produce a complete 3D model for the reinforcement layout, besides the standard calculations to ensure the correct structural behaviour of the FSD. That input was given to the reinforcement producers who translated it into fabrication language and then produced the rebars.

Additionally, the limitations that this technology currently has (only works with certain diameters, only with reduced rebar lengths, only allow certain bending possibilities) implied an iterative design process which combined the technical limitations of the robots with the most cost-effective solution for the reinforcement (combining the allowed diameters, minimizing overlaps, ensuring proposed shapes for rebars do not exceed the robots bending capability, etc.). So a complete 3D model including every single rebar was developed. Since it was agreed that only zones 5 and 6 would be produced by the robots, all the rebars in the other areas were designed as 2D rebars, so they could be processed off-site or on-site by standard machinery.

The Demonstrator was cast in 4 stages. The first 3 castings involved a special designed SCC. A small hole on top of the formwork was made for the inlet and here a thin hose was lowered – as well as a camera in order to follow the casting. The SCC was designed with a high plastic viscosity but low yield stress and it was cast very slowly in order to achieve nice surfaces. The final casting – the horizontal deck – was cast using slump concrete. This part had no counter-formwork and thus the upside was shaped by hand.

For the vertical parts, the SCC was pumped into the formwork and the pump hose was lowered down into the formwork along the edges. The pump hose was slowly raised at the same rate as the filling rate. The filling rate was low as results during the project had shown how important it is to apply a low filling rate to obtain smooth surfaces, in particular on upside surfaces. Also, a low casting rate would be beneficial in terms of the formwork pressure.

Main conclusions of each of the different TailorCrete technologies systems demonstrated in the demonstrator are summarized in the following:

- The use of the planning tool and the input of partners throughout all the stages of the design made it possible to achieve an exceptional, intriguing and highly functional architectural design of a complex double-curved concrete structure.
- Handling the EPS blocks on-site had to be done with extreme care since EPS could be harmed during manipulation and the rubber membranes could be damaged as well. The times for assembly were higher than estimated but that is considered to be normal for prototypes. The release properties of the formwork parts had changed during the time of weather exposure, thus there was no easy release between concrete and rubber membrane as observed in laboratory tests. Further, the combination of high concrete pressure and small gaps between formwork parts allowed concrete access the narrow space between the formwork parts, and thus making the demoulding even more difficult. Despite these problems, all EPS blocks could be reused when attaching a new flexible membrane.
- Fabrication of the parts for the multi-edge system was produced without any obstacles. The assembly was for the main parts easy, but the manual cutting of the plywood plates made it more time consuming and with less precision compared to CNC-milling, but the system was able to bend sufficiently in order to meet the higher curvatures where the deck meets the legs. In these areas additional wooden trusses had to be introduced.
- The precision of the manufactured, prefabricated reinforcement rebars turned out to be insufficiently in this case and needs to be optimized in the future. Consequently much time and effort where put into adjusting the rebars on-site. The robot bend introduced a very high precision of the complex reinforcement which was necessary.
- The result of the castings was very satisfactory. The final leg appears nice and homogeneous. Complete form filling was obtained and the surface appears very smooth. From a form filling point of view, it would be possible to increase the casting rate and lower the cost of the casting. However, a higher casting rate is likely to result in surfaces of lower quality. Thus, for complex shaped elements with upsides surfaces, it is recommended to apply a low casting rate.

It is difficult to get solid conclusions from a one-time experience and these are normally less positive than desired. However, in this case, most of the problems and delays faced have been due to typical problems (not related to TailorCrete technologies) such as lack of coordination among stakeholders, not enough time to plan things correctly, budget constraints, etc. The most important conclusion is that, despite the improvements that these technologies need, certain complex element can only be achieved using this kind of methods, since traditional approaches cannot cope with the challenges that these elements represent.

WP8 Life cycle assessment of cost, sustainability, safety and aesthetics
The main objectives of this work package are the assessment of the TailorCrete concept in terms of life cycle assessments of cost, sustainability, safety and aesthetics.

Assessment of the TailorCrete concept has been performed by life cycle assessments of cost, sustainability, safety and aesthetics. The assessments of costs and sustainability have been based on Full Scale Demonstrator (FSD) project. The evaluation of a complete life cycle analysis is a difficult task. Besides, the costs in many phases are similar or same as in traditional approach. Therefore, the focus of life cycle evaluation was on the phases which show significant differences depending on the process followed (traditional or TailorCrete). After analyzing the whole life cycle of a concrete structure, from the design to the demolishing phase, the main conclusion is that the TailorCrete technologies and systems affect dominantly the design and the construction phases.

The Life Cycle Cost (LCC) analysis has been performed to analyse the costs of a full scale demonstrator, when executed using the systems and technologies developed in TailorCrete, and compare those costs to the cost generated when following a traditional process. It seems that the use of state of the art digital design tools reduces the cost (in terms of resources) of the design phase, especially for complex projects. If TailorCrete reinforcement production costs are compared to traditional costs in both south and north European context, TailorCrete seems quite competitive. Although the robot system is the bottleneck, one way to optimize the production would be to use a system based on one worker coordinating the work of three pairs of robots. Then the production system would become even more competitive in cases where reinforcement is extremely complicated. However, the prototype TailorCrete systems should never be strictly compared to a final production system, neither in terms of speed nor in terms of required manual workforce.

The life cycle screening have shown that the environmental impacts from the construction of the FSD is very high but it has also been explained that if a full life cycle assessment had been carried for the full life cycle many of the contributions could be omitted due to formwork’s great options for reuse or recycle. It has also been stated that the concrete’s contribution to the collected emissions are high but this is due to the special concrete with a high amount of cement and additives required for a special structure like the FSD. TailorCrete is great for building unique structures but if possible duplication of a structure is taken into account the formwork allows for direct reuse which also would lower the environmental impacts significantly if the formwork system i.e. is used for building not just one structure but maybe three or more.
Together with the possible reuse of the formwork for duplicates or just as recycle in light-weight concrete and the optimization to the processes in constructing the FSD it is clear that TailorCrete most likely will be compatible to traditional constructions with equal surface areas, concrete type and amount of reinforcement.

The safety evaluation has been performed for life-cycle phase, where the key components of TailorCrete (self-compacting concrete, formwork systems, fibre reinforcement, robotic production, etc.) were evaluated to identify possible safety issues and corresponding safety measures proposed.
Some existing safety issues of traditional approach have been eliminated.
- The manual work has been significantly reduced by utilization of robotic reinforcement production, contributing to better safety on construction sites or in reinforcement production plants. However, in the prototype production, some parts of robotized production of reinforcement still need to be carried out manually.
- The natural form-filling ability of SCC contributes to higher installation performance since no compaction work is necessary. The noise pollution is significantly reduced, as vibrators are not necessary. Therefore, the workers are not exposed to vibration and noise stresses.
- The use of fibres can reduce the amount of traditional reinforcement. This contributes positively to reduction of manual work related to processing of the traditional reinforcement.
- The developed Wax Formwork may require on-site patching, when the workers must use protective gear and safety measures must be applied to wax heating, handling, and application. The Milled Formwork requires additional measures to be taken, if epoxy coating is applied on site. The EPS itself is a flammable material and operations such as cutting and welding of the reinforcement cages could potentially inflame the nearby stored EPS, so additional measures should be applied to prevent inflammation.

The aesthetic is an important part of the TailorCrete concept. The evaluation of the degradation of an exposed surface (in terms of colour stability and uniformity) using accelerated test for samples cast with different concrete types has been performed. Hunter L values (whiteness) were used as an indicator of the evolution of ageing. Among all the concrete recipes tested, conventional slag cement concrete has showed the best durability and colour uniformity against accelerated ageing conditions.

WP9 Standards, codes and performance-based design
The full exploitation of TailorCrete results may depend upon possible barriers in existing codes and standards. Work has been undertaken to determine if the relevant standards and codes contained obstacles for the TailorCrete Concept.

Identified barriers have been communicated to the relevant technical WPs and have resulted in modifications of the research work during the project period. In this way obstacles for the use of TailorCrete concept have been eliminated. Where the TailorCrete concept is found to cover subjects not treated in existing standards and guidelines, the identified gaps have been considered in the relevant technical WPs. This work has been summarized and sent to the relevant standardization committees.

Guidelines to overcome the possible barriers previously described have been prepared. The main conclusions from the guidelines are:

Regarding reinforcement:
- To meet the need for industrial thinking of the TailorCrete concept, the design process needs to involve finite element methods to become rational.
- To influence the future standardization work, important scientific results obtained in TailorCrete on this subject (Deliverable 3.2 3.3 3.5 and a number of published papers) has been forwarded to the national standardization body of Sweden.

Regarding fibre reinforcement:
- For some applications of the TailorCrete concept, the use of fibres for structural reinforcement would be beneficial. To be able to use fibre reinforced concrete as load bearing in combination with traditional reinforcement, there is a need for further development of the available guidelines and codes.
- Thus, the use of fibres as fully or partly load bearing reinforcement, poses by far the largest hindrance to the TailorCrete concept.
- For TailorCrete, this is an opportunity to provide the work groups of CEN Technical Committee 250 with important findings regarding fibres as load bearing that can promote and help the impact of the TailorCrete concept on the industry.
- To eliminate this potential hindrance in future, TailorCrete has provided the work groups of CEN Technical Committee 250 with important findings regarding fibres as load bearing that can promote and help the impact of the TailorCrete concept.

Regarding SCC
- In TailorCrete, the rheology of the concrete and thus strict demands regarding flow properties and stability is vital. The review of the current standards revealed that consistency classes in EN206-9 are very wide and for some structures, like some TailorCrete structures, specification of a flow class is simply not accurate enough to ensure a proper form filling and stability of the concrete.
- Thus, to enhance the fundamental understanding of SCC, relations are needed which can convert the results of standard test methods into the rheological parameters; yield stress and plastic viscosity.
- The research of TailorCrete on SCC has revealed a new relationship between plastic viscosity and V-funnel time for SCC. This new knowledge has been forwarded to the national standardization body of Denmark.

WP10 Exploitation plan and dissemination
This Work Package in general terms, deals with communicating the status and results of the project to the public as well as providing the internal platform for a successful exploitation of the achieved project results.

During the course of the project a public website has been launched. The website is regularly updated to reflect the most recent results. Two web platforms for internal collaboration, one for administrative use and one for sharing research are also in place to ease the day-to-day communication between the partners.

Particularly noteworthy is that the partners at ETH received the Holcim Award 2011 for the work in WP2 on the wax formwork. Most recently, research results have been exhibited at “Material World” exhibition at the DAC (Danish Architecture Centre) in Copenhagen as well as in the “Architectural Particle - Modular Systems In the Digital Era” exhibition at MAKK (Museum der Angewandten Kunst Koln) in Cologne, Germany.

As it was agreed, the planned international conference was merged with the event related to the final demonstrator in one event. Therefore, the results of research of each of the partners have been demonstrated in a special event that took place in Denmark, 22nd and 23rd of January 2014.
Potential Impact:
The TailorCrete concept is based on integrating the entire construction process from design to building and operation using a common digital platform. This will drastically reduce wastage compared to the currently disparate operations in the construction process and the use of “trial and error” methods based on craftsmanship, especially for costly operations such as formwork and reinforcement as well as concrete casting. Further, the new construction techniques and materials are more lightweight, durable, and recyclable, and the production will be less energy demanding.

The core contribution of TailorCrete is to develop technologies to produce concrete products industrially. This will be achieved through the development of digital fabrication techniques (WP4) as well as the development of fabrication based digital design tools (WP5) which help to translate customer requirements from digital architecture (WP1) to digital fabrication. Furthermore, the development of automated systems and the use of robotics for formwork production and prefabrication of concrete products are achieved in WP2, WP3 and WP6. These technologies will contribute to the goal that more than 50% of construction products being produced industrially within the next 10 years.

The goal of 0% rework and unused materials due to poor management is achieved through the use of digital visualisation based on 3D modelling to eliminate potential design errors that could lead to mistakes during the construction phase (WP1, WP5). The use of digital fabrication (WP4) will ensure minimum wastage of material, the recycling of formwork materials and an optimal use of reinforcement materials (WP2, WP3). Simulations of form-filling will reduce waste of concrete as a result of reducing the need for trial castings (WP6). Further, ICT tools will enable the development of standardised instructions of the on-site working process through simulative animations thereby eliminating rework.

Cost effectiveness
TailorCrete, in line with its primary objective, has developed methodologies, tools and systems to optimize the construction process of complex concrete structures, trying to make the process as cost-effective as possible. Among these developments, some can be pointed out, such as digital design tools, new formwork and reinforcement systems, methodologies to improve the design of self-compacting concrete, etc. Some of these technologies and systems have reached a prototypical stage, some are a step behind, and so it is difficult to evaluate their cost effectiveness with certain precision. However, initial orientating conclusions can be extracted. What these technologies have in common is that they all affect the design and construction process of the concrete structure since the basic material to execute the structure, the concrete, is standard SCC. So the costs of the raw material acquisition, maintenance (related to concrete durability) and demolition parts are the same as in any other concrete structure.

Regarding the cost effectiveness, the TailorCrete concept has a huge potential in cost saving due to implementation of automated software tools and production robots. Since the TailorCrete project is new and all new technologies have been just developed, the cost analysis was not favourable for the TailorCrete concept when compared to the traditional approaches. This is due to the lack of experience and routine with using the developed tools and procedures for the first time. However, it is evident that once the TailorCrete concept will be used more widely, the automation will reduce the cost, especially in term of labour cost.

In order to assess how sustainable the TailorCrete concept is, a life cycle screening has been carried out for the most relevant environmental impacts of the Full Scale Demonstrator (FSD) that has been selected as a representative structure. When introducing new design and construction methods, it is important that these are sustainable and do not cause any new environmental challenges. The life cycle screening will compare the TailorCrete concept to a traditional method. Life cycle assessment (LCA) involves the calculation of the environmental impact of all processes involved in the creation of a product with the inclusion of all processes involved in the production and management of the waste. For products, LCA is typically calculated as either cradle-to-gate (factory gate) or cradle-to-grave (including use and disposal).

The life cycle of a product can be modelled and its impact on the environment can be documented using standardized and internationally recognized protocols. As mentioned in the previous section a full LCA will not be carried out, however the screening is based on the ISO 14025: Environmental labels and declarations - Type III environmental declarations - Principles and procedures.

Regarding the sustainability, the processes within the TailorCrete concept were developed with the issues of sustainability on mind. For instance in the case of EPS formwork, the repeated application of the formwork and the subsequent recycling of the EPS allows full utilization of all the material. Also here it applies, that with wider application and thus with more experience, the materials and procedures will be used more effectively in terms of sustainability.

Working environment – safety
Currently, the incidence of construction site accidents is high, partly as a result of reliance on manual fabrication techniques. The use of robotised formwork manufacturing and lightweight materials will improve the working environment and increase safety and the working environment at construction sites. Furthermore, the partly transfer from slump concrete requiring noisy and physically demanding vibration and compaction to an increased use of SCC will improve the working environment significantly. An increased use of digital techniques for most operations from design to component fabrication and form-filling of SCC will make the construction process more high-tech and attractive to young engineers and the female work force.

For each lifecycle phase, the key components of TailorCrete approach have been reviewed and possible safety issues have been identified. From the safety evaluation, it has become evident that some existing safety issues of traditional approach have been eliminated:

- The manual work has been significantly reduced by utilization of robotic reinforcement production, contributing to better safety on construction sites or in reinforcement production plants. However, in the prototype production, some parts of robotized production of reinforcement still need to be carried out manually (feeding and parts of an assembly).
- The natural form-filling ability of SCC contributes to higher installation performance since no compaction work is necessary. The noise pollution is significantly reduced, as vibrators are not necessary. Therefore, the workers are not exposed to vibration and noise stresses.
- The use of fibres can reduce the amount of traditional reinforcement. This contributes positively to reduction of manual work related to processing of the traditional reinforcement (production, placement, etc.).

Exploitation of results
TailorCrete involves a multidisciplinary consortium with strong focus, presence, commitment and activity in all the roles of the building construction sector. Specifically, the consortium involves architecture studios (SUP), engineering companies (DTP), system providers (PD, GB), product providers (BEK, UNC, GR), contractors (DRA, MTH), sector specialists for new technologies and consultancy (DTI) and universities with high involvement in the sector (ETH, SDU, CHA, CTU). Each of these organisations has taken part in the development of the exploitation plans of the results and outcomes of TAILORCRETE.

The main outcome of the project is a solid contribution to develop a new concept, with the support of the necessary technologies and systems, to produce tailor made concrete structures. Those supporting systems, knowledge and tools have been defined as specific results. Some of these are:

• Publication of Future Digital Concrete Architecture
• Fabrication Based Design Tools
• New Formwork Materials and Systems
• Knowledge + Software Reinforcement Materials - Systems and Design Recommendations
• Fibre Reinforcement Quality Monitoring System
• Reinforcement Fabrication Processes and software to Automatically plan robot paths
• Guidelines for Execution of Unique Concrete Structures with SCC and FRSCC
• Software for rheology and casting simulation

Some important points related to the potential exploitability of each result have been analysed at preliminary stage. These points include IPR management, degree of development of each result, production process, target customers and competitors in the market. This document serves as an initial guideline and it is fair to say that, as much as further engineering and research work is necessary to provide each result with the necessary robustness to successfully penetrate the market, a more detailed exploitation plan is needed for them. That work will be done by the specific partners who are willing to lead that needed research and engineering work and who are willing to bet on the exploitation of these results.

The exploitation possibilities of the project results depend on different factors such as the degree of development of the specific result, the situation of the sector in which that result should penetrate, the characteristics of the partners trying to exploit it, etc. Besides analysing the partners in the consortium, a SWOT analysis has been done to have a better understanding of the overall situation.

Besides that, some data related to the situation of the European and international construction sector has been gathered and analysed in order to have an overview of the market where these developments should be applied. It is known by all that the European construction sector is having a harsh time and it looks as if this situation is going to continue for a long time. However, some of the gathered data related to the construction sector (low added value sector, high labour costs, etc.) allows for positive conclusions regarding the implementation possibilities of the results of TailorCrete.

It is important to highlight the correct balance between research and industrial partners and, inside the industrial sector, the balance between large companies and SMEs. Each of these organizations will take part, at different levels, in the development of a market replication and deployment plan of the results and outcomes of TailorCrete.
Partners such as CTU, SDU, CHA or ETH are universities, whose main objective is to make research and communicate the acquired knowledge. However, some of these partners have highlighted their intention to offer consultancy services related to the obtained knowledge in TailorCrete. The most typical way to articulate this is through the creation of spin-off companies.

Fortunately, the heterogeneity of the project’s consortium implies gathering a strong variety of core competencies and therefore, the possibility to continue with the exploitation strategy started during TailorCrete, whether by directly exploiting some of the results, by further developing some of them towards a pre-competitive stage or by contacting third parties interested in any of the two previous options. As a matter of fact, some companies outside TailorCrete have been contacted in order to establish information exchange about TailorCrete developments and evaluate their potential interest in participate in further development / exploitation of these results. Evidently, all the process will count with the approval of the involved TailorCrete partners.

Some of the organizations participating in the project are involved only partially, through specific departments or business units. This means that the initial stages of widening the circle of those who could be interested or can contribute to the exploitation of the project’s results is very straight forward.

For instance, DRAGADOS has been mainly involved in the project through their Technical and R&D Directorate and a specific business unit with production facilities. However, Dragados counts with other business units focused on building prefabrication, singular structures execution or specific works like foundations execution or infrastructure management. Some of these business units are already aware of some of the most interesting results of the project, but it is now by the end of the project when specific meetings should be held in order to show these results at their most current degree of development.

Another example could be some of the research centres as DTI or universities like ETH who can interact with other departments involved to some extent with the construction sector or who might be interested in entering this sector and developing further, with different focus, some of the developments reached in TailorCrete.

Besides, some of the industrial partners belong to large interdisciplinary industrial groups with presence outside their original countries (MTH, DRA, BEK, GRA, UNC, etc.). This offers these companies the possibility of easily disseminating and transferring TailorCrete technological results throughout the different companies of these groups. For instance, even if DRAGADOS or MTH were not directly interested in the exploitation of a formwork design tool, some of the companies of the industrial groups they belong to, with a higher engineering-design component, might be interested in acquiring and using such software.

Another important strength of this consortium is that it comprises some of the best known companies and research institutions in European construction. Collectively, they belong to several networks and associations throughout the construction sector and have participated actively in the programmes of the European Construction Technology Platform, ERA NET and EUREKA activities. Many of the partners have on-going construction based projects from previous Framework programmes such as Retrokit (FP7), RAIN (FP7), ManuBuild (FP6), I3CON (FP6) or UNIKABETON (FP6), etc. They are also active in several national and international construction consortia like for example ENCORD. This is an important matter regarding dissemination of results and the possibility of creating joint-ventures for results development or exploitation.

In addition to having the necessary requirements to maximize the exploitation possibilities of the different results, the current consortium has a well-balanced complementarity in terms of areas of operation within the research – innovation – industry triangle. This is important in order to have the proper balance between the creation of new knowledge and its practical application in industry, which is the necessary equilibrium for creating and successfully exploiting innovative but applicable results.

In TailorCrete, the RTD partners comprise academic and research institutions involved in both fundamental and applied research work in the areas of digital architecture and fabrication, formwork, reinforcement and flow dynamics in concrete as well as teaching and dissemination. These include CHA, CTU, DTI and ETH. Similarly, SDU and DTI are involved in applied research in areas of robotisation and automation of construction processes. Additionally, ETH and DTI are involved in innovation activities in digital architecture and concrete technology, respectively. These activities involve technology-transfer to industry as well as specific problem solving activities for and within industry.

In parallel, the industrial partners have high expertise in construction material (GRA, BEK, UNI), large and complex construction processes design (SUP), engineering (DTP) and execution (MTH, DRA). As well, there are formwork producers, like PD, and experts in the application of robots for industrial activities (GB).

Evidently, not everything in the consortium can be considered as strengths as described before. When analysing the consortium’s possibilities or the exploitation of the results developed in TailorCrete, besides analysing the consortium’s strengths, this means, internal factors that are helpful to achieve the exploitation objectives, we have to take into account other different factors such as other consortium’s internal factors that are harmful to achieve the objectives. As well, we have to consider the existence of external factors, out of the consortium’s control, that could help or hinder to develop a successful exploitation strategy.

In order to detect these factors, a SWOT analysis has been done both to the consortium and the exploitable results. It is summarized below:

• Heterogeneity of the consortium, covering most of the value/supply chain.
• Balance between research and innovation capability vs. industrial knowledge and application experience
• Partners with presence at national and international levels. So the application market is not reduced to their homeland.
• Partners with experience in R&D projects, so continuation of some developments could be articulated in smaller and more specific projects.
• Most of the results have been developed by reduced sub-groups of partners with clear exploitation rights.
• Results have been validated in full scale use cases, so solid conclusions have been gathered related to their potential exploitability or the necessary improvements.

• Links among collaborating partners are highly related to TailorCrete. Finalization of the project might become a barrier to continue working together.
• Physical separation of some collaborating partners (distributed along Europe) to continue with research or to promote joint initiatives for exploitation.
• Technical limitations of some results are higher than in other existing solutions.
• Some systems/technologies require high investments in order to achieve certain production capability and therefore improve cost-efficiency in production (e.g. formwork systems).
• There are not clients/developers/public entities in the consortium which could foster the application of some of the projects results.
• Besides, the lack of these clients/administrations implies that not always the final decision of using certain results depend exclusively on any of the consortium partners.

• Some of the systems/technologies/products developed in TailorCrete offer solutions to complex projects which before TailorCrete implied project modifications and reduction in the quality of the final product. For instance, the construction of double curve concrete structures with traditional formwork systems usually implies simplifying the shape due to the low adaptability of these systems to high double curve shapes.
• Even if cost-effectiveness is not always achieved, some of the results developed offer other advantages compared to traditional techniques such as safety issues (e.g. not vibrating concrete on top of a structure or reducing reinforcement ending, tying and placing operations on-site) , sustainability ( fibres instead of steel reinforcement).
• TailorCrete focusses on providing solution for singular and complex construction projects. Fortunately, sometimes the economic offer is not the first threshold to overcome when bidding for the tender. Sometimes offering an effective and innovative solution is more important, and the inclusion of TailorCrete technologies could contribute to improve the technical offer.
• Administrations find it each day more and more important to foster innovation in companies so innovative companies will be “well” treated when tendering for projects.
• The use of certain innovative developments will improve the reputation of TailorCrete companies, opening doors for other projects (R&D or real construction projects)

• The current economic crisis is hindering partners from high investments in R&D or industrial application oriented developments which are needed for most of the project results.
• The sector has decreased in size during the duration of the project, so the demand for these systems has decreased as well.
• The sector requires a certain regulation over the means and products used in the construction projects and this usually prevents the use of some innovative results.
• The duration of the project combined with the fact that it has been disseminated form the beginning might have given the opportunity to competitors to work in parallel in similar developments.

After four years of work, the partners in TailorCrete have developed a series of results derived from the activities in most of the areas the project has tackled. These results include software tools for digital design or concrete behaviour simulations, innovative systems (product + process) for producing formwork and reinforcement for complex concrete structures, guidelines and documentation to foster the optimization of architectural projects or to improve the design and production of SCC, etc.

Main dissemination activities
During the project the TailorCrete partners have been actively disseminating the results achieved via participation in seminars and conferences as well as publishing in scientific papers and trade magazines. Dissemination activities have been managed through a specific work package in TailorCrete. This Work Package has in general terms, dealt with communicating the status and results of the project to the public as well as provided the internal platform for a successful exploitation of the achieved project results.

The dissemination work was initiated with the design of TailorCrete logo and identity. The information of the project is shared and disseminated via four different media:

TailorCrete homepage:
- This contains general information on the project and for the moment, everything on this web site is accessible for the public.
- There is a link to Netgroup on the web site (in the upper left corner).

- Netgroup is a closed site for the participants of TailorCrete only.
- It is a relatively slow medium, but it is considered to be safe, and therefore suitable for confidential information.
- Netgroup is used for saving documents such as agendas, minutes of meetings, calendar for coming events, final reports, official documents (Consortium Agreement, Grant Agreement, Application etc.)
- Netgroup is not suitable for pictures, and very large files of which there will be a lot in TailorCrete.

TailorCrete's Wiki
- This platform works like Wikipedia and contents can be easily shared, added and edited by all users.
- Wiki is a closed site for the participants of TailorCrete only, but it is supposedly less safe than Netgroup and should therefore not be used for highly confidential information.

Brochure (printed and digital)
- A brochure describing the TailorCrete project has been prepared. The brochure has primarily been prepared for handing out (printed on paper) but it can also be downloaded electronically from the TailorCrete homepage:

Two workshops have taken place in ETH Zurich, first one in April 2010 and second in April 2013, involving students of the institution. The main subject of the workshops was the production and manufacturing of the Wax formwork.

As agreed in the meeting in Copenhagen, DL 10.4 and DL 10.5 are merged in one event, “Presentation of the main results of TailorCrete - Tour de force of achievements during the 4 years of research”. The event took place in Denmark, 22nd and 23rd of January 2014.

List of Websites:
Mette Galving, DTI:
Tine Aarre: