BAM installs UK’s biggest 3D concrete printed structure

Aaron Morby 2 years ago
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BAM has become the first contractor in Scotland to make use of 3D concrete printing on a major civil structure.

3D printed concrete stair sections being installed
3D printed concrete stair sections being installed

The firm teamed up with Dutch concrete printing factory Weber Bemix to create the staircase elements on the Sighthill Bridge project across the M8 in Glasgow.

The seven flights of stairs to the pedestrian bridge is thought to be largest printed concrete construction in the UK to date.

Working on behalf of Glasgow City Council, BAM craned in the new staircase this week.

Once fully installed the new steps will be clad in granite for a long-lasting, slip-free finish.

Printing the bridge components allows for precise and intricate shapes, which can be tricky with traditional formwork, creating a truly unique structure.

The removal of moulds and materials reduces waste by 40% compared to traditional methods, keeping costs down and improving carbon efficiency.

Ian Steele, BAM Contracts Manager for the M8 Footbridge said: “It’s wonderful to see these 3D concrete printed aspects installed as this iconic bridge takes shape.

“Although this part of the landscaping will ultimately be hidden from site, it marks a huge step forward for BAM in how we modernise our approach to construction – reducing risk, improving efficiency, and driving down our carbon footprint.”

He added: “The use of this technology is in its infancy, but the aspiration is that interest and application grow to such a degree that we can invest in a UK-based printing facility which would improve how we construct within the UK.”

The steps were printed at the Weber Bemix factory in the Netherlands before being shipped to Scotland.

BAM’s Dutch business previously partnered with the specialist factory to create the world’s longest 3D concrete printed bridge in Nijmegen, Netherlands.

The Sighthill staircase will be just as strong as if poured on site. But using this innovative method allows the structure to be manufactured in a highly-controlled environment, removing concerns around weather and reducing the risks associate with on-site construction.

Automated sensors embedded in the materials add further certainty to the quality of mortar throughout the process.

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