It’s no secret that the cost of building housing is enormous. Moreover, with homelessness on the rise worldwide, it is no surprise that the supply of affordable housing is inadequate. Against this backdrop, two innovative companies have joined forces to develop a sustainable solution to this problem.
The nonprofit New Story and housing development startup ICON have partnered to design a 3D printed home that can be built in just 12 hours. Robots printed and built the walls, roof and floors of the 650-square-foot model, while workers performed the final touches, such as windows, doors, plumbing and electrical.
These efficient homes are part of a larger plan to build homes for low-income families in El Salvador. The two companies plan to build dozens of these homes by the end of 2019, with more to come in other areas. This building process is not only faster and cheaper, but it also produces less waste than traditional house construction.
The model currently costs $10,000 to manufacture, but New Story and ICON hope to bring it down to $4,000 in the future. The model features a streamlined, modern design that includes a covered patio, bedroom, bathroom and living area, as well as a small workspace.
A robot could build this $10,000 house in 12 hours
Building a home by hand is time-consuming and expensive – so some homebuilders are now automating part of the construction process.
Homebuilding startup ICON uses a 3D-printing robot that can make parts for a house. The machine can print the walls, roof and floors of a 650-square-foot model in just 12 hours. Workers then add windows, doors, plumbing and electrical systems.
As The Verge notes, ICON first demonstrated a prototype of the house at this year’s SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas. The company has partnered with the international nonprofit New Story, which plans to build more houses for low-income communities in El Salvador by the end of 2019.
New Story and ICON are not the first to 3D print a house; as Business Insider reported last year, Ukrainian housing startup PassivDom has developed a 3D printer that can build a 410-square-foot solar-powered house in less than eight hours.
New Story and ICON designed the house for people in developing countries, where 3D printers are said to be much less expensive, quicker, and generate less waste than traditional construction.
A start-up company has invented a $10,000 house that can be built in a day.
Building a small house of about 400 square feet yourself usually takes two to three months and tens of thousands of dollars in materials, depending on the design.
A San Francisco-based housing startup called Apis Cor says it can do the job faster and at a lower cost. It recently built its first house near Moscow in just one day, at a cost of $1.
What’s its secret? The secret is the 3D-printed robot.
Developed in partnership with Russian house-building company PIK Group.
Apis Hall began the process by using a 3D printer to build the circular house. The robot lays layers of cement on top of each other to form the shape of the house.
A small gap was created between the inner and outer walls, where fiberglass reinforcements were placed and a polyurethane based mixture was sprayed to provide insulation.
Then windows were installed, counters, cabinets and other decorative materials were installed and painted bright yellow. Workers and a 3D printer completed everything in about 24 hours.
This is what the house looks like from above.
The house is 409 square feet and has an open layout. The kitchen is separated from the living room by a shallow partition, which doubles as a bedroom with a sofa. There is also a small bathroom in one of the alcoves.
According to the company, this robotic approach to building a house is more efficient and less costly than relying on humans. The cost of materials for the house, including the foundation, walls, insulation, finishes and wiring, was just over $10,000. A square house of the same size, made with the same materials, would cost about $8,870, according to Apis.