Video | BAM builds Scotland’s first 3D-printed concrete staircase

BAM has installed a 3D-printed concrete staircase for a bridge across the M8 in Glasgow.

The contractor claimed to be the first in Scotland to make use of the technique. It also claimed that the staircase is the largest printed concrete construction in the UK.

The Sighthill pedestrian and cycle bridge will connect Glasgow City Centre to the Sighthill area.

BAM craned the 3D-printed staircase sections into place this week
40% reduction in waste

BAM said that 3D printing the structure allowed for precise and intricate shapes that would have been difficult to achieve with traditional formwork. The removal of moulds has also reduced waste by 40% compared to traditional methods.

The contractor added that the staircase will be as strong as if poured on site. And printing it offsite reduced concerns around weather and safety.

Weber Bemix printed the steps in its factory in the Netherlands before shipping it to Scotland. It embedded automated sensors in the materials to monitor the quality of mortar during the printing process.

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. The printed element saw us manufacture the stairwells offsite, creating strong, one-of-a-kind structures, all while reducing waste and interaction with weather and other elements which can create hold-ups.

“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.”

“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”.

BAM craned the staircase into place last week (12-16 September).

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