Texas-based developer of construction 3D printers ICON and the largest US construction company Lennar will build a village of 100 3D-printed houses with a variety of layouts.
The project will help to demonstrate the possibilities of additive technologies in terms of atypical construction:
- the partners intend to build houses of different sizes,
- with different layouts and unusual elements, for example, rounded walls.
The houses are designed by the architectural firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, and Lennar is the general contractor.
ICON claims that its wall-building techniques and advanced materials used by proprietary 3D printers allow for:
- more durable,
- and importantly, safer buildings that can withstand extreme weather conditions.
In addition, the integration of 3D printing technologies makes it possible to reduce the construction time and the cost of work, and the current level of development makes it possible to carry out large-scale projects.
Vulcan’s proprietary 3D printers are capable of erecting buildings up to 280 square meters. Gantry systems can be installed on rails, which allows maintaining a high pace of work. It can thereby increase overall productivity. While the freshly laid layers are set, the system moves to the next site and continues to work.
This approach helps to adapt to weather conditions. It affects the setting rate of cement mortars used to print permanent formwork.
Construction 3D printing not only makes it faster and cheaper to build high-quality housing, but the massive use of 3D printers can also change the process of mass construction for the better.
The US is dealing with a shortage of roughly five million homes. So, there is an urgent need to increase the market supply without sacrificing quality, aesthetics, and excitement, which is exactly where 3D technology is strong.
ICON already boasts many successful projects, including the construction of affordable low-income housing in Austin and the Mexican state of Tabasco.
This year, several ICON-designed residential buildings were put up for sale in the US real estate market. Lennar has strengthened its strategic partnership with ICON during its recent investment round, which raised the capitalization of the Austin facility by $207 million. Work on the new village will begin next year.
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