Building a house in 3D? Florida Could Be A Prime Market For Clicking “Print” | Opinion
As building material prices rise to impact the construction of new homes in Florida, a new form of construction is emerging as a potential avenue to ensure homebuyers have access to the new homes they need – and can afford.
From Florida to California, 3D printed homes and communities are being built as proof of concept residences to demonstrate alternative building capabilities.
In Riverhead, NY, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom printed home was listed by Zillow at $ 299,999 and at one point was the most viewed home on the internet. Start-ups and developers eager to disrupt the industry are envisioning a community in a desert landscape near Palm Springs, where they plan to build what they call the nation’s first 3D-printed home neighborhood.
For the first time in Mexico, a 3D printed neighborhood is emerging for families living on as little as $ 3 a day.
Unsurprisingly, these companies have their eyes set on Florida as the prime target for future 3D printed neighborhoods. As the third most populous state in the country and one of the fastest growing countries, Florida is a prime landing place for this emerging technology. In July, construction of the first 3D printed house began in Tallahassee. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home is expected to sell for between $ 175,000 and $ 200,000
Additionally, the speed and ease of 3D printed homes could be useful in rapid reconstruction campaigns following hurricanes or other natural disasters. Certainly, the economic benefits of 3D printed houses are tantalizing.
An added benefit of 3D printed houses is the cost. Companies that develop and build 3D houses claim that the cost of building a house can be reduced by 30-40% compared to traditional construction methods. The interiors and exteriors can be printed between 12 and 24 hours; labor costs are also reduced because fewer workers are needed. Overall, printing concrete cuts production time from months to days and streamlines the construction process.
Yet the law must catch up.
Building a 3D printed house is quite different from standard building methods. The Florida building code and the real estate industry must take this fact into account.
During the 3D process of the current and most popular method, concrete and various additives are premixed, to be laid in a foundation pattern that would be similar to toothpaste coming out of a tube. The mixture then hardens into a concrete structure.
In a current prototype, the 3D printer is an oversized mobile printer, ranging from 10 x 10 feet to 100 x 100 feet, sitting in the middle of the construction site, fabricating concrete walls and the roof from the inside. In another prototype, the printer is on a metal scaffolding above the construction site and moves in a two-dimensional square printing the load-bearing walls.
The process is simple; it is already being used to build smaller structures such as barbecues and fountains.
However, to be a truly viable building alternative in Florida, it must have the static strength necessary to withstand hurricanes as required by the Florida Building Code or must evolve to be cast with rebar structures similar to current construction methods.
To this end, entities seeking approval for building 3D printed homes in Florida, the Florida Building Commission, and the real estate industry must all understand the process and work towards implementing the relevant codes, guidelines and rules. for approval of this process. Additionally, to have meaningful regulations for this technology, lawyers will need to understand the additive and printing process.
Like any other new construction process, the promise of better and cheaper construction will have to be weighed against the risk of construction defects or other construction methods which may be cheaper but easier to implement, such as manufactured homes which are created off-site but installed on-site.
Although still in the prototype stage as an emerging technology, building 3D printed houses seems inevitable as the process becomes more advanced, easier, cheaper, stronger and more cohesive. The creativity and ingenuity of these start-ups will eventually prevail in the process of building a house.
However, it will be up to professionals in both the private and public sectors to ensure that homebuyers will not only benefit from the home pricing advantages, but will also benefit from overseeing the process to ensure the safety and efficiency of printed homes. 3d.
Louis Archambault is a Chartered Real Estate Lawyer and Vice President of the Real Estate Ownership Group at the Miami law firm Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr. This is an opinion piece written for Business Sunday’s “My View” space in the Miami Herald. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper.