News Overview

EPFL Fribourg Goes a Step Beyond Building Standards With LC3 TRC

Author: Switzerland Innovation

The EPFL Fribourg, part of the Smart Living Lab hosted the successfully completion of the first small-scale test of LC3 Textile Reinforced Concrete (TRC) under the guidance of Patricia Guaita, Raffael Baur, and the team from EPFL ENAC. This achievement marks a significant step forward in sustainable construction practices. 

Cement, the binding component of concrete, is responsible for 8% of global emissions. And clinker, the main component of cement, is extremely carbon-intensive and accounts for 90% of total cement emissions in the production of concrete.

LC3 is developed at EPFL's Laboratory of Construction Materials (LMC). LC3, a mixture of limestone and calcined clay offers a sustainable alternative to traditional cement, reducing CO2 emissions by 40%. It is thin, durable, and it can be locally precast and easily assembled even by unskilled workers, making it ideal for addressing construction needs, particularly in the Global South and high-risk areas.

At the basis of the research questions lies the crossing of contemporary structural research into textile reinforced concrete (TRC) and architectural work in ferrocement (Argamassa Armada) done in Brazil by the architect Lelé from ca. 1970-2000.

The Smart Living Lab brings together the combined expertise of the EPFL, the School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg (HEIA-FR), and the University of Fribourg (UNIFR) in the areas of construction technologies, well-being and behaviours, interactions and design processes, and energy systems for the built environment. This living lab hosts interdisciplinary research projects involving users and companies as well as researchers, and is located  within  Bluefactory site of Switzerland Innovation Park West EPFL.