Business announces plans to print 100 homes
Is the house a thing of the past? 3D printing technology promises to transform how we build our houses, and even our idea of what a house itself is
If you need a house, you just click “print”. The machine’s nozzle sculpts the shape of a room in cement. It builds layer by layer in smooth lines. In a few minutes, you have somewhere to live.
The technology is not quite there yet. But a 3D printer can already build the cement shell of a house in less than 24 hours.
Jason Ballard, the CEO of Icon, a 3D printing company that is building 100 houses in Texas, thinks that this is the key to a sustainable future.
His company’s printing technology builds concrete walls. They are thicker and leak less heat than the normal drywall method most builders use.
While making cement is the cause of 8% of CO2 emissions, Ballard thinks that over time, the savings in energy make it greener than any other material.
“Wood is lovely, but it’s a conductor of heat, so you spend all this money and time insulating it,” he told the New Yorker.
If they can make the concrete out of recycled materials, the houses will be even greener.
Others say that the single family house will always be an inefficient use of space and materials. The construction industry produced 38% of global CO2 emissions in 2019. ‘
By lowering the energy used in construction, and reducing waste, 3D printing could be a key part of building a greener future.