Jump to content

This cheap 3D-printed home is a start for the 1 billion who lack shelter


sixoclock

Recommended Posts

Food, water, and shelter are basic human needs, but 1.2 billion people in the world live without adequate housing, according to a report by the World Resources Institute’s Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. Today at SXSW, an Austin-based startup will unveil its approach to combat that deficiency by using low-cost 3D printing as a potential solution.

 

ICON has developed a method for printing a single-story 650-square-foot house out of cement in only 12 to 24 hours, a fraction of the time it takes for new construction. If all goes according to plan, a community made up of about 100 homes will be constructed for residents in El Salvador next year. The company has partnered with New Story, a nonprofit that is vested in international housing solutions. “We have been building homes for communities in Haiti, El Salvador, and Bolivia,” Alexandria Lafci, co-founder of New Story, tells The Verge.

 

The first model, scheduled to be unveiled in Austin today, is a step toward providing shelter to those in underserved communities. Jason Ballard, one of ICON’s three founders, says he is going to trial the model as an office to test out their practical use. “We are going to install air quality monitors. How does it look, and how does it smell?” Ballard also runs Treehouse, a company that focuses on sustainable home upgrades.

 

Using the Vulcan printer, ICON can print an entire home for $10,000 and plans to bring costs down to $4,000 per house. “It’s much cheaper than the typical American home,” Ballard says. It’s capable of printing a home that’s 800 square feet, a significantly bigger structure than properties pushed by the tiny home movement, which top out at about 400 square feet. In contrast, the average New York apartment is about 866 square feet.

 

LRG_DSC04886.JPG
Inside the 3D-printed home. Photo: ICON
 

The model has a living room, bedroom, bathroom, and a curved porch. “There are a few other companies that have printed homes and structures,” Ballard says. “But they are printed in a warehouse, or they look like Yoda huts. For this venture to succeed, they have to be the best houses.” The use of cement as a common material will help normalize the process for potential tenants that question the sturdiness of the structure. “I think if we were printing in plastic we would encounter some issues.”

 

MORE

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 0
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...