In Austin, construction of the largest 3D-printed neighbourhood will begin in 2022.

Will the future of housing and construction involve 3D printing? In a city in the US state of Texas, a new kind of real estate project will break ground in 2022.

An entire neighbourhood of 100 single-storey, 3D-printed homes will be built in an Austin neighbourhood. This method of construction is faster, cheaper and less polluting than conventional construction methods, according to the three companies behind this unique project.

This development is set to be the largest neighbourhood of 3D-printed homes ever built. Behind this project of unprecedented size are Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), home building company Lennar and 3D printing construction technology company ICON.

Quicker builds

Thanks to 3D printing technology, the 100 homes will be delivered quickly, with the construction of one home taking about a week. This is an important advantage when you consider that the United States has a shortage of five million new homes.

But the advantage of these 3D-printed constructions doesn’t stop there. Equipped with photovoltaic roofs, these individual houses also present benefits from an ecological point of view.

“ICON’s 3D printing technology produces resilient, energy-efficient homes faster than conventional construction methods with less waste and more design freedom – keeping construction projects on schedule and on budget,” ICON outlines, while not revealing the cost of the project.

According to the company, the printers can fabricate houses of up to 3,000sq ft in size, or about 280sq m. It has already printed the walls of a house measuring between 400sq ft (37sq m) and 500sq ft (46sq m) in 24 hours, spread over several days.

Building process of the future?

According to information released by the printing company, 3D construction follows the standards imposed by the International Building Code, the building regulations in the United States. As strong and durable as traditional housing, these printed homes are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions.

“Additive manufacturing has the potential to revolutionise the built environment as it gets adopted by the industry at scale,” noted Martin Voelkle, partner, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group. “By partnering with ICON and Lennar, we are able to see this new technology roll out to the widest possible audience. – AFP Relaxnews