Rob Osterrmaier / Media Subsidiaries
While 3D printing has been around since the 1980s, its use in home construction is relatively new, and it offers exciting opportunities to address homelessness and other housing inequalities around the world. It’s a potential solution that Habitat for Humanity is exploring with its latest venture: a home in Williamsburg, Virginia, almost entirely made from 3D printing or additive manufacturing. Not only that ring cool, but it potentially opens up new avenues for Habitat to fulfill its mission of providing housing for low-income and disabled residents.
“Although this is the first owner-occupied Habitat home to be 3D printed in the country, every Habitat home built, renovated or repaired is special because we work in partnership with low to moderate income families, elders fighters, the elderly and the disabled ”Janet V. Green, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Peninsula & Greater Williamsburg, explains to Beautiful House. She adds that printing using 3D technology offers a way to bridge the affordable housing gap as Habitat for Humanity is always looking for “solutions to build more efficient homes.”
To bring this project to life, Habitat for Humanity has teamed up with Alquist, a 3D printing house building company. And although this is the first 3D printed house created by Habitat for Humanity, it is not the last; the organization already has plans underway for another, which is expected to be completed in Tempe, Ariz., next month.
As for the actual process behind 3D printing a house, Alquist, like others experimenting in this field, uses concrete, a medium that can reduce construction costs by up to 15% per square foot. Concrete is also able to hold temperature better than many other materials, which means that this home will have lower heating and cooling costs than average, a huge plus for low-income residents. And in the event of natural disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes, a concrete house is ideal because it is resistant to damage.
The final product of this home will consist of three bedrooms and two full bathrooms in total, covering 1,200 square feet. Plus, it’s EarthCraft certified, which means it minimizes environmental impacts and won’t cost as much to maintain.
Once the construction of this home is completed, it will be sold to a neighborhood resident named April, whose income is less than 80% of her neighborhood’s median income. Thanks to Habitat for Humanity’s home buying program, April’s monthly mortgage payments will cost no more than 30% of his income, which includes both homeowner’s insurance and property taxes. .
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