Digital rebar: An opportunity for material-efficient construction

Placing building materials only where they are needed

Expressive forms in concrete establish unique architectural expressions and foster highly material-efficient structures by placing building materials where needed enthuses Ammar Mirjan, co-founder of MESH, a construction technology startup creating robotic rebar solutions for the AEC industry.

Last updated: February 06, 2023 Zurich, Switzerland

By Ammar Mirjan, CEO & Co-founder MESH

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Robotic rebar solutions create concrete structures that save on materials, emissions and waste

Producing such tailormade freeform elements usually requires resource-intensive and costly formwork that can often only be used once and ends up as construction waste. Waste formwork in such cases can often generate twice the emissions of the concrete form created.

The MESH Technology makes it possible to produce complex and curved reinforcement cages through an automated prefabrication process. 3D steel-mesh structures created this way serves as both formwork and reinforcement and can be filled by a standard concrete mix including special additives without conventional formwork. As a result, significant amounts of building materials can be saved. In the creation of concrete floor slabs, the approach can save 40% of the concrete and 30% of the steel used in a conventional process.

Holcim Foundation Sounding Board

Ammar Mirjan presented the benefits of robotic rebar solutions at the first Holcim Foundation Sounding Board – which enables built environment innovators to explore their ideas with industry-leading peers. The new format event provides start-ups, academics, researchers, and architects with an agile platform to receive peer feedback on their novel ideas that challenge conventional building practices.

MESH is an ETH Zurich spin-off company founded in 2022 by Ammar and Mattis Koh.