Can 3D Printed Houses Help Solve the Global Housing Crisis?
- By 2030, three billion people will need improved housing.
- This means building 96,000 new homes every day.
- 3D printing technology can create high quality homes at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional construction.
- A couple recently moved into Europe’s first 3D printed house.
- In India, a 3D house was built in just five days.
At the end of this decade, as many three billion people will need better housing. Meeting this need would mean building 96,000 new homes every day, according to UN Habitat.
Could giant 3D printers be one of the solutions?
They can produce homes cheaper and faster than traditional building techniques and have already supplied homes to people around the world. If adopted on a large scale, this approach could put the roofs over the heads of millions of people.
Here are three examples of homemade 3D printing in action that show the promise of this revolutionary construction method.
India: a single storey house in just five days
In the city of Chennai, a collaboration between a construction company and a charity resulted in the creation of the country’s first 3D printed house. It measures approximately 56 square meters and was built for efficiency, according to Tvasta Manufacturing Solutions.
“Traditional construction is tedious and time consumingSaid Adithya Jain, CEO and Co-Founder of Tvasta. “More and more people are being left behind because accessibility is limited or they move to poor quality homes.”
In addition to completing the house in just five days, the finished building is estimated to be 30% cheaper to manufacture and generated less waste in the process.
The Netherlands: a European first
Project Milestone is a project of five houses in the Dutch city of Eindhoven. The first one the finished house already has occupants – Harrie Dekkers and Elize Lutz – and is the first legally habitable 3D printed house in Europe.
Their house has 94 m2 of floor space on one floor and was built as a collaboration between the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Municipality of Eindhoven and private sector companies.
The house has been designed to resemble the shape of a large boulder and blend in with its natural surroundings. Being able to easily create curves is just one advantage of 3D printing over traditional construction methods.
Cities are responsible for 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions and are home to more than half of the world’s population – a number that will grow to two-thirds by 2050. By becoming greener, cities could contribute to more half of the emission reductions needed to keep global warming below 2 ° C, which would be in line with the Paris Agreement.
To achieve net zero urban emissions by 2050, the World Economic Forum is joining forces with other stakeholders to lead a variety of initiatives to promote sustainable urban development. Here are a few:
To learn more about our initiatives promoting zero carbon cities and to see how you can participate in our efforts to facilitate urban transformation, contact us here.
United States: mixed-use houses in Texas
A development of two to four bedroom homes is being built in Austin, Texas, using a combination of 3D printed and traditional construction.
The first floor of the houses was 3D printed, the roofs being made of conventional materials. Using Lavacrete, a form of cement, homes are designed to withstand fire, flood, wind and other natural disasters better than conventionally built homes, according to ICON, the 3D printing company involved in the project.
Gary O’Dell, Co-Founder and CEO of Development, 3Strands, said, “We want to change the way we build, own and live together as a community. This project represents a big step forward, pushing the limits of new technologies, such as 3D printed houses.