CPC slabs comprise high-strength concrete reinforced with prestressed carbon fibres.

Holcim, a global leader in sustainable building solutions, says its thin precast carbon prestressed concrete (CPC) slabs hold extraordinary potential to industrialise construction while driving low-carbon and circular building.

CPC is claimed to reduce material use by up to 80 per cent, be fully recyclable, reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 75 per cent and weigh less than reinforced concrete and timber.

“Using high-strength concrete reinforced with prestressed carbon fibres, CPC slabs use a proprietary process and patented technology that gives them the same load-bearing capacity as traditional reinforced concrete slabs while being up to five times thinner and lighter. In addition to enabling resource-efficient construction systems, the absence of steel means a longer service life (up to 100 years), at the end of which the CPC systems can be disassembled and reused or fully recycled,” says a spokesman for the company.

The CPC slabs are produced in a unique process with a high degree of standardisation and automatisation. CPC is a key element of industrialising construction similar to timber solutions, but with superior performance and a lower embodied carbon footprint. Through smart design, CPC helps us build better with less.

To build with CPC slabs, individual components are cut from large standardised plates and customised to fit any shape and size. These components are joined to create highly efficient construction systems in applications ranging from bridges and balconies to ceilings and facades. The prefabricated CPC solutions are then transported to the construction site for fast and easy installation.

The technology’s potential has already been recognized at bauma, the world’s largest trade fair in the construction industry, where it won the Bauma Innovation Award 2022 in the “Construction” category.

In 2020, Holcim became an early investor in CPC AG, a Swiss start-up that invented carbon prestressed concrete (CPC) technology.

So far, CPC has been certified in Germany, and has been used in over 170 projects in Switzerland. Holcim is ramping up production of CPC slabs at its plant in Essen, Germany, to make this smart building solution available more widely.