The city of Eindhovenin the Netherlands will soon be home to what is being called the world’s first commercial 3D-printed housing project, with five homes to be built, rented out and occupied “for at least several decades”.
Called Project Milestone, the project is a partnership between the Eindhoven University of Technology, the city of Eindhoven, real estate manager Vesteda, materials company Saint Gobain-Weber Beamix and engineering firm Witteveen+Bos.
The homes will be code compliant, with the intention for Vesteda to buy and then lease them out.
“The concrete dwellings will be subject to all the regular building regulations and will meet the demands of current-day occupants concerning comfort, layout, quality and pricing,” an Eindhoven University of Technology statement said.
The first house – a single-storey development – is expected to be ready for occupation by mid-2019. Initially prefabricated concrete elements will be printed off-site, however the goal is to have at least the last house printed entirelyon location.The homes are being built successively, so that any learnings or new innovations can the applied to the next project.
Aside from being a milestone for 3D-printed construction, the homes will also resemble stones, or, as architect Houben & Van Mierlosays, “sculptures in a sculpture garden”.
Eindhoven University built environment professor Theo Salet said 3D-printing technology allowed for almost any shape to be built.
“With this technology, we can do things we couldn’t do before,” Professor Salet said.
“In design, for instance, we can create shapes that normally can hardly be made, and that, if they are made, are only produced in large quantities. But here we can do unique industrial custom-made work.”
Sustainability is a big factor too.
“We only put concrete down… in places where we need it. We use a lot less material, so we’re much more sustainable,” Professor Salet said.
On top of this the homes will be provided without gas connection – a rarity in The Netherlands – and energy efficiency, acoustics, comfort and light are being prioritised.