The Eindhoven University is partnering with various companies to 3D print a community of five houses. The concrete structures will be fully habitable, and will be available to residents next year.
3D printed structures are being erected across the world, but a heavy portion of this concrete additive manufacturing innovation seems to be centered in the Netherlands. Last year, the Eindhoven University of Technology and the UK-based construction company BAM began 3D printing a functional bicycle bridge in the city.
Now, the university is working with the municipality of Eindhoven and four companies; Van Wijnen, Vesteda, Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix and Witteveen+Bos to create an entire community of 3D printed houses.
The collaborative effort is called Project Milestone; an effort to 3D print habitable concrete homes in the Eindhoven neighborhood of Meerhoven next year. The ambitious plan is to print five homes in the same area, making this the first time that a community of homes are being 3D printed. As the habitable structures will be produced one after the other, there will be room to improve upon each of the designs as the construction process carries on.
“The idea came about two years ago during the Dutch Design Week… We have managed to control the printing technique and now we want to know what it is like to live in,” explains Theo Salet, who is in charge of the TU/e’s 3D Concrete Printing Center.
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The project will be conducted in various phases, starting with the first 3D printed home, which will have just one floor, being printed off-site on the university grounds. However, the plan is to gradually add more floors – ending with a final residence with three floors that will be directly produced on-site.
“This means that every new home can benefit from advancing insights and knowledge and can be adapted directly to the wishes of the residents,” adds Salet.
While the resident’s will be able to provide feedback during the building process, the houses can’t be completely adapted to their wishes as they must still comply with local building regulations.
For example, they’ll be more sustainable, affordable and quicker to build than regular homes. Architects can also benefit from the technology as they have more freedom of form and choice, which will likely result in five distinct house designs. The initial architectural plan is inspired by boulders in a green landscape, and was designed by Houben/Van Mierlo architects.
By the middle of next year, the hope is to having the first tenants moving into these one of a kind homes. The Eindhoven-based apartment renting agency Vesteda is the current prospective buyer for the community, and would rent them out to potential residents.
Source: NL Times