Architecture

BIG and ICON to create world’s “largest neighbourhood” of 3D-printed homes

BIG and ICON to create world's largest neighbourhood of 3D-printed homes
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Construction companies ICON and Lennar are collaborating with architecture studio BIG to create a neighbourhood of 100 3D-printed houses in Austin, Texas.

Scheduled to break ground in 2022, the scheme will be the world’s largest community of 3D-printed homes when it completes, according to Texan firm ICON.

3D-printed neighbourhood of homes
The neighbourhood will include 100 3D-printed homes

Co-designed with Danish architecture studio BIG, the commuinty is set to be built on an unconfirmed site in the city. More details of the houses’ floor plans and design will be announced next year.

Each home will be printed using ICON’s Vulcan construction system, which uses controlled robotic machines to create layers of Lavacrete – a propriety Portland Cement-based mix made by the company.

Rendering of houses in Austin
A rendering of construction work at a location in Austin

“ICON’s 3D printing technology produces resilient, energy-efficient homes faster than conventional construction methods with less waste and more design freedom,” said ICON.

“Designed and engineered from the ground up for volume 3D-printing of homes with precision and speed, ICON’s Vulcan construction system can deliver homes and structures up to 3,000 square feet,” it continued.

According to the firm, the neighbourhood of houses will be built to the International Building Code (IBC) structural code standard.

ICON also said that it expects its Vulcan-printed homes to last “as long or longer” than those built with concrete masonry units (CMUs).

Vulcan-printed houses
The houses will be printed using Vulcan technology

Homebuilding company Lennar will fit each neutrally-coloured house with gabled roofs that will feature photovoltaic panels.

“Our design approach modernises the aesthetic of the suburban home, while the 3D-printing technology texturises and provides distinctive touchpoints for each space,” added ICON.

“The freedom of form facilitated by this building technology – including the sinuous curves of the walls – combines with traditional construction materials to create homes that are both aesthetically and physically unique.”

The neighbourhood of 3D-printed homes will follow four recently completed houses in East Austin, Texas that were also constructed using Vulcan technology called the East 17th Street Residences.

Other 3D-printed housing projects around the world include an Italian dome-shaped, low-carbon house prototype made from clay and the Netherland’s first lived-in 3D-printed home that resembles a grey boulder.

The renderings are courtesy of ICON.

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