Austin gets a 3D-printed home makeover
The Future. A new neighborhood in Austin, Texas, will be built using 3D printing. It’s the largest undertaking of its kind, meaning that many cities around the country will probably be watching to see if the innovation can ease housing issues and climate impact in their own communities.
Can 3D printing solve the housing crisis? Austin may be a testing ground.
- Homebuilder Lennar Corp. and construction-technology startup Icon are 3D printing 100 homes near Austin, Texas.
- The homes are built by squeezing a secretive cement mixture out of a robotic tube like a high-tech toothpaste, building the house layer by layer.
- Having built about a dozen homes to date, this is easily Icon’s biggest project and maybe the biggest test case for the viability of 3D-printed homes.
While the price of the homes has yet to be determined, Icon’s previous homes were sold at a discount because they used less waste to build than a traditional wood-paneled home.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, the cement industry alone accounts for 8% of all emissions.
And with home-building activity for single-family units increasing 20.5% this year alone, innovation will be a key factor to lower environmental impact and hopefully reduce costs in a runaway market.