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Habitat for Humanity's first 3D-printed house in the U.S. goes to a Virginia family in need

Started by Redaktion, December 27, 2021, 15:35:45

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Habitat for Humanity has delivered the first keys for a 3D-printed home in its Habitat Homebuyer Program to a Williamsburg, Virginia family. The single mother in need has participated in Habitat's projects for the hundreds of "sweat equity" hours required to apply, and can now move in her new home, 3D-printed by Alquist with special temperature-isolating concrete.


Nothing more heart-warming than seeing someone in need, who works to better themselves, getting rewarded as a result.

Kudos to everyone involved in this incredible sounding project.


As much as I have a real fascination for 3D printing, I do wonder about the structural rigidity and the long-term durability of that house.


Quote from: YUKI93 on December 29, 2021, 15:52:21
As much as I have a real fascination for 3D printing, I do wonder about the structural rigidity and the long-term durability of that house.
Yes, I was also interested in the details. Unfortunately, they don't say much. They claim it lasts just as long as any other concrete structure (bearing in mind the thickness of those walls). I can believe it will last a century with appropriate maintenance. In reality, many steel-reinforced concrete structures are demolished long before that (because they are obsolete, because they were poorly made or maintained, etc.). They use horizontal steel ladders for reinforcements (it's a hollow wall construction which I imagine provides the bulk of thermal resistance) and other reinforcements where needed. I don't know what are the different construction details and their static properties as they are not very specific about it. A stark difference to what I'm used to. I would never consider building this way with so little information (I guess they would provide more but I'm used to more openness about technical details). They say they printed it in 12 hours but I guess that's just the walls. No information about curing times or how the ceilings are made. That's a huge time sucker, especially in multi-storey houses (you can spend literally months waiting for ceilings to cure enough to bear workers and material over the course of building a whole house). There are many ways to skin this particular cat and shave off time. No information about the concrete mix either. Not even in terms of properties they went for (again, curing being very interesting topic). They do provide a thermal resistance number, but I couldn't find out whether this includes interfaces or not. I guess it does, it's for finished wall and it's nothing to write home about. But then again, it's just two layers of concrete with an airgap. I guess the primary advantage is cost (which I don't know) through the reduction of labour (although, in quite a few systems, little skill and equipment is required most of the time - meaning, you can do it yourself if you're so inclined; it's like Lego for big boys). I guess it's good enough. Especially if local standards are poor. More insulation can be added, of course. Potentially interesting but too little information to compare it with the myriad of construction methods.

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