NYCEDC, an organization dedicated to developing the Empire City’s economic climate with projects often involving all three societal sectors, have announced three winners of their NYC Waterfront Construction Competition. The fundamental goal of the two-phase Mayor Bloomberg administration associated Change the Course –challenge, initiated last fall, was to map out different “innovative and cost-saving solutions for completing marine construction projects and maintaining waterfront infrastructure in New York City.”
Providing the organizers with the best plan for the future of the famous waterfront and picking up the main prize at the National Museum of the American Indian was D-Shape, the company dedicated to super-sized 3D printing of sandstone-made houses. The company’s submission to the competition was named Digital Concrete, but instead of the completely new construction paradigm they’re probably most known for, D-Shape’s proposal focused more on the renovating, restoration and cost-saving aspect of NYC’s waterfront constructions such as piers, piles and seawalls.
In their own words, the company’s take on the competition is explained as follows: “D-Shape’s ‘Digital Concrete’ resolves a number of issues regarding the restoration of piers, piles and seawalls that populate New York’s waterfront. By 3D scanning, then 3D printing concrete, one combines the best of precast and cast-in-place methods. The advantages of quality control in fabricating off-site yet being able to closely fit the encasements, blocks or extensions to the surface that they are nestled into has a number of advantages, including lower costs, better quality control (thus longer life), lower labour mobilization and quicker delivery at installations. Furthermore, there is a potential opportunity to rejuvenate the waterfront by letting artists leverage the total freedom of design to add an aesthetic touch without a significant added cost.”
D-Shape estimates the potential cost savings to NYC by utilizing its technology across all 565 miles of the shoreline to be $2.9 billion.
For their innovative proposal, D-Shape received a wallet-warming $50k, but more importantly a respectable recognition for their general approach to using 3D printing tech in enabling a different take on how buildings can and could be constructed in the future.