Home is where the heart is, especially when it’s 3D printed and completed with just enough time to move in before Christmas. One family in Virginia just finished purchasing this house through Habitat for Humanity, and it was the ultimate holiday gift.
Habitat for Humanity teamed up with Alquist—a 3D printing company—to build the home in Williamsburg, Virginia. It’s 1200 square feet and has three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. The recipients were April Stringfield and her 13-year-old son, who said “My son and I are so thankful. I always wanted to be a homeowner. It’s like a dream come true.”
The house was built from concrete, and it only took 12 hours to print the home’s walls, shaving approximately four weeks off the average home’s wall construction time. The concrete used has several other benefits, too, like better temperature retention and the ability to better withstand natural disasters such as tornadoes. It also saves about 15% per square foot in building costs.
Alquist also worked with Andrew McCoy, who is the Director of the Virginia Center for Housing Research and Associate Director of the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech. According to Habitat for Humanity, the two used a proprietary Raspberry Pi-based monitoring system from Virginia Tech to help “track and maintain indoor environment data to enable a series of smart building applications.” They also added solar panels to the home to further boost energy savings.
Stringfield logged 300 hours of sweat equity, as part of the program, and some of which were spent helping the crew on her own construction site. The house also includes a personal 3D printer, installed in the kitchen, which will allow her to reprint anything that might need to be replaced down the line, like a cabinet knob or electrical outlet.
This isn’t the first 3D-printed house to hit the market, however. Earlier this year, a listing on Zillow claimed to feature “the world’s first 3D-printed home” in New York. A few months later, an architectural team in Italy 3D printed a home entirely from raw earth materials. Clearly, the technology is here, and with more businesses and groups taking notice and trying it out for themselves, we could be looking at the future of homebuilding across the world.