Army barracks in Texas will be the tallest 3D printed buildings in the Americas
The Department of Defense is building the largest 3D-printed structures in the Western Hemisphere, military officials have said.
Construction of the three barracks that are expected to set the record began Wednesday at Fort Bliss, Texas, and are expected to be completed within 10 months, the DOD said in a statement.
Each building will be over 5,700 square feet and will be more “energy efficient and resilient” than buildings made with traditional materials, the Defense Innovation Unit, a DOD organization working with the military and contractors? to complete the project, said in a separate statement.
“Building facilities using this advanced technology saves labor costs, reduces planning time and increases the speed of construction of future facilities,” said Lieutenant General of Doug Gabram, commander of the US Army Installation Management Command, quoted in the DIU statement. saying.
The army is looking to use the same techniques to build other facilities besides barracks, Gabram said in the statement.
The three barracks that will temporarily house visiting troops. They will be the first 3D-printed structures to meet DOD’s updated criteria for additive concrete construction, officials said. Previously, there were no specifications for 3D-printed concrete wall systems, meaning companies that used the technique were unable to bid on DOD projects.
The Pentagon selected ICON, a construction technology company based in Austin, Texas.
In August, a 3,800 square foot barracks built with ICON 3D printing was unveiled at Camp Swift, Texas, and was described by officials as the largest 3D printed structure in North America.
Neither the DOD nor ICON disclosed the cost of the project at the time. However, Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris, adjutant general of the Texas Military Department, said that was about a third of what a traditionally built barracks would cost.
The cost of the latest barracks project was also not immediately available.
3D printing uses digital design to lay thin layers of material on top of each other. The material used in the construction of the latest barracks is called Lavacrete and is trademarked by ICON.
Lavacrete is described by the company as a high-strength concrete with a compressive strength of 2,000 to 3,500 pounds per square inch that will outlast traditional materials and construction methods. ICON’s first 3D printed building prototype was built in March 2018.
Proponents of 3D printing say it produces less waste than traditional construction techniques and the resulting structures are generally more energy efficient because the material is denser and provides better insulation than traditional concrete. .
Florida-based tech company Apis Cor built the world’s tallest 3D-printed building in the United Arab Emirates in 2019, according to Guinness World Records. The two-storey Dubai Municipality building measures 6,888 square feet.
Florida-based tech company Apis Cor built the world’s tallest 3D-printed building in the United Arab Emirates in 2019, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The two-storey Dubai Municipality building measures 6,888 square feet.