UHPC Facades — The New Use For The New Material

  • Frederik Boysen (Hi-Con)


Unlike in North American where UHPC is mostly associated with bridges and the accelerated bridge construction system, in Denmark UHPC is used mainly for prefabricated slim balconies, external walkways and staircases. UHPC has become the concrete material of choice for many Danish architects when creating slim, elegant structures. The material allows the architect a large degree of freedom when shaping the construction, and the constructive principles used for mounting can be akin to both regular concrete elements and a steel solution. Hi-Con has been the leading manufacturer of precast UHPC solutions in Denmark since the company was founded in 2001,producing primarily the products mentioned above. In recent years, however, a new use has found its way to the market:facades. Façade elements in UHPC has a broad spectrum of applications as anything from external sunscreen cladding to sandwich elements with cast-in insulation. The advantages of using precast UHPC façade elements are discussed on the following page. The examples each highlight a key characteristic of the material. Beyond the geometrical freedom it grants the architect, the advantages of using precast UHPC façade elements are numerous. For example waterproof UHPC ensures a water tight façade with only the joints exposed. A part of shapability is size and a large factor in constructing with UHPC is the rapid mounting process. The elements’ primary restriction in size is transportation. This means that it is possible to mount upwards of 150 sq. ft. with each element. This makes for a material that is flexible in application, and that can have advantages in securing the right construction thickness, a waterproof façade and a short mounting period. At Odense University both compressive and tensile high strength was needed to enable the architect to have the largely perforated façade. In this example, the elements are cast in a large number of variants that could be created by simply changing positions of circular mold parts or exchanging these in the flat rectangular mold. Elements were 7.8 by17.5 ft. At Strandings museum St. George a large element size was essential to the architect’s vision. Cladding elements that span the entire height of the structure was mounted on brackets. All elements were cast against a rough wooden mold to allow the wooden structure to be visible in the up to 52 ft long elements. At Herningsholm Technical College a thin external UHPC slab on a framework of integrated beams made it possible to reduce the thickness of the wall structure and allow for more sq. ft. on the same property. A variety of singlesided panels with cast-in insulation and sandwich elements with cast-in insulation was used. All types utilize a 1.2 inch thick front slab.

How to Cite:

Boysen, F., (2019) “UHPC Facades — The New Use For The New Material”, International Interactive Symposium on Ultra-High Performance Concrete 2(1). doi:

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Published on
01 Jun 2019