CRuMBLE: Construction Rubble Manufacturing for Building Life-cycle and Environment


CRuMBLE: Concrete Rubble Manufacturing for Building Life-cycle and Environment is a research manufacturing framework that proposes a novel cradle-to-cradle design process for ecological architecture manufactured directly out of construction waste and earthen materials.

The CRuMBLE platform adapts the recycling of construction waste to significantly reduce its CO2 impact by advancing the additive manufacturing of earthen and cementitious materials through two interconnected strategies: (a) by recycling individual construction waste stream for use in additive binder-jet manufacturing, and (b) by reducing the overall volume of cementitious materials used in new construction through the smart, shape-sensitive design of architectural components.

CRuMBLE focuses on integrating recycled construction waste as a powder aggregate mixture to create new pathways for direct non-toxic chemical activation with water-based binders in binder-jet printing, thus more sustainably increasing the overall strength and durability of recycled material that can accommodate shape optimized architectural components with added compressive and tensile strength. Combining the abilities of additive manufacturing with our simulation capabilities and innovative waste material mixtures can lead to substantial reductions in the mass of individual component systems.

Project partner: ANSYS, Kennametal, The ExOne Company

Next Manufacturing research area: Process development

Principal Investigators
Dana Cupkova
Joshua Bard
Robert Heard
Kenji Shimada
Related Centers, Institutes, and Programs
Manufacturing PA Innovation Program
NextManufacturing Center
Research Areas
Additive manufacturing
A hand holding a 3d printed construction piece