skip to content

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment


In-service and end of life performance review, off-site manufacturing, facades, sustainable construction operations.

Theme1: Construction Design and Technology Research Projects


Project Title

Prestressed fabric formed concrete structures

Secondary Themes

Sustainability and Urbanisation, Construction Materials and Waste Minimisation

Project Summary

Concrete is the world’s most widely used man-made material. Its use underpins the productivity of other industries. Yet the manufacture of cement is responsible for at least 5% of CO2 emissions, and research has shown that it material wastage in the order of 50% is common. There is now a pressing need to minimise the embodied energy of new concrete structures. Fabric formwork is a novel construction method for casting concrete structures, where the flexibility of the mould allows new architectural and structural possibilities. Research has shown that such moulds can be used to cast structurally optimised geometries that minimise material consumption and embodied energy. This project will take the research a step further by exploring the potential for prestressing of longitudinal reinforcement to achieve greater material savings. Combining continuously varying external geometries with prestressing presents a novel challenge, particularly in shear or anchorage critical zones. The optimisation solution of this project will address serviceability and ultimate limit state behaviour of geometrical complex prestressed structures through analytical and experimental research.