3D Printed Community

Dec 15, 2021 | Sustainable Spotlight

A company in Austin, Texas is planning to build the largest 3D printed community of homes using robotics and advanced materials.
Construction technology company ICON and homebuilder Lennar are joining forces to create a large-scale 3D printed community of homes in Austin, Texas. Using advanced materials and innovative robotics, ICON’s plan is to break ground in 2022.
 
This is not the first 3D printed home from ICON; the company has been producing housing in Mexico and Texas since 2018. The company built a 3D-printed neighborhood in Mexico in 2019.
3D printed homes and structures from ICON are expected to last longer, can be up to 3,000 square feet, and are built to structural code standards. These structures are able to withstand extreme weather and are more resilient than traditional buildings.
 
ICON’s 33-foot printer uses a concrete mix that hardens as it dries, building the walls one layer at a time. This material is sturdier than traditional concrete and is reinforced to withstand earthquakes.
 
With labor and material shortages still an issue as we are beginning to wrap up 2021, ICON’s 3D printing of homes could be a solution. 3D printing, even at a large scale, is faster than conventional construction methods, produces less waste, and opens up more design options. All of these factors help keep construction projects on schedule and under budget.
 
Each home will take approximately one week to build, according to ICON, and all roofs are covered in solar cells for additional energy efficiency. With the United States currently facing a five million deficit in homes, ICON’s 3D printed community of homes could pose a potential long-term solution.

More Articles

Garden Cities

Garden Cities

Garden Cities, or ‘greenbelts’ are a method of urban planning that help cities reduce pollution, ensure biodiversity, and increase water storage.

Recycled Plastics in Construction

Recycled Plastics in Construction

Approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans each day. Plastic is an extremely valuable resource, however, plastic pollution is an unsustainable waste of that resource. Here are 10 ways to use recycled plastics in construction...

Reduce Construction Waste

Reduce Construction Waste

An estimated 251 million tons of construction waste is accumulated annually in the United States alone, which shows us just how important it is to reduce construction waste. Less than a third of that waste is recycled or composted, and up to 40% is from the production...