A two-story building on the campus of Technical University in Dresden, Germany is the world’s first building made from carbon fiber reinforced concrete.

The world’s first building made of carbon fiber reinforced concrete, known as Carbonhaus, is a collaborative effort of engineers, designers, and researchers who have advocated for use of advanced materials in place of the traditional concrete and steel in construction for many years.  The 5-million-euro project is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The 2,200 sq. ft. building consists of a precast box and a double-curved roof made possible because of the use of the lightweight and pliable composite materials. The carbon fiber being used in the project is produced from petroleum-based polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and provide the tensile strength of steel at one-quarter the weight.

According to Barzin Mobasher, a professor at the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University with almost 30 years of experience in the field, at least half of the concrete in a typical building component is used to protect the steel reinforcement from corrosion.  He further explains that because steel and concrete “work in tandem, but not together,” the resulting component continues to be prone to cracking and erosion.