TU Dresden RWTH Leibniz Institut

Construction competition 2023 of the SFB/Transregio 280



The competition is organized by the Collaborative Research Centre/Transregio 280 „Design Strategies for Material-Minimised Carbon Reinforced Concrete Structures—Principles of a New Approach to Construction “, which has been funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) since July 2020.


Competition topic

Concrete is basically simple, quick and inexpensive to produce, it can take on almost any shape and is the only building material that is also used extensively in developing and emerging countries. The SFB/ TRR 280 deals with a new way of building. The strategy development is aimed at developing innovative concepts and intelligent constructions made of carbon concrete. Suitable methods for the design, such as modeling and construction with new materials, therefore require profound basic research.


Competition goal

We are looking for a beam made of carbon concrete that minimizes the use of materials. The component should be made of non-metallic reinforcement and mineral matrix material and, thanks to its optimized geometry and cross-sectional design, achieve the highest possible load-bearing capacity with minimal self-weight and small deformations under use loads.


Technical date

• Maximum component dimensions: 10 x 20 x 120 cm³
• Maximum weight of the beam: 20 kg
• Static system: Single-span beam with load application in the center of the span, free span 1 m


The winning beam is determined by a (destructive) load test. The submitted specimens are tested in a standardized test process by independent employees of the Institute for Structural Concrete at RWTH Aachen University. In addition to the load-bearing capacity (F-test), the deformation when half the load is reached is evaluated to assess the performance characteristics. The mass of the specimens is calculated before the test begins. To identify the winning component, the load-bearing performance TP of all submissions is determined using the following calculation formula:

TP = (FTest)2 / (w * G)

FTest = breaking load determined in the test
w = Deflection on reaching FTest/2 ( working load condition)
G = Weight of the component

The component with the highest TP wins the competition.


Awarding authority

Collaborative Research Centre/Transregio 280 - Design Strategies for Material-Minimised Carbon Reinforced Concrete Structures—Principles of a New Approach to Construction". Webside: www.sfbtrr280.de

Speaker: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr.-Ing. E.h. Manfred Curbach
TU Dresden, Institut für Massivbau, 01062 Dresden

Deputy Spokesman: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Josef Hegger
RWTH Aachen University, Lehrstuhl und Institut für Massivbau, Mies-van-der-Rohe-Str. 1, 52074 Aachen


Conditions of participation

Information on the competition

• The competition is addressed to students and academic staff of civil engineering and architecture
• Prize: Participation in an international research conference
• Participation: form to imb@imb.rwth-aachen.de
• Contact: Ms. Alvarez, imb@imb.rwth-aachen.de
• Address for submissions: Dipl.-Ing. Jochen Wessel, Mies-van-der-Rohe-Str.1, Halle C, Raum 008, 52074 Aachen


German or English



•  Participation request via mail until: June 1, 2023/ Extended until June 30, 2023!
• Submission of test specimens by: September 1, 2023
• Award ceremony: September 26, 2023 as part of the DAfStb research colloquium in Aachen


Documents to be submitted

The competition entries must be submitted in anonymized form so that an independent assessment is possible. You should therefore define a code number for your entry, consisting of two letters and two numbers, e.g. AB12. The code number should be attached to the entry on an A4 sheet of paper and avoid any reference to your name, your university affiliation or your supervisors.

Binding: Submission of the signed declaration of participation and copyright (Annex 1 and Annex 2). All submissions are to be created by the participants themselves and are therefore free of third-party rights.