Brief 

3D printing has the potential to construct houses faster and cheaper than with traditional building techniques, and Habitat for Humanity is making a 3D-printed home in the US that it hopes will be a blueprint for affordable housing.

 

Insight 

s 3D printing the future of affordable housing? It certainly seems possible. The burgeoning technology has the potential to construct houses faster and cheaper than with traditional building techniques, and has already resulted in a low-cost housing project in Mexico. Now global housing nonprofit Habitat for Humanity is creating a 3D-printed home that it hopes will become a blueprint for affordable housing.

The prototype house is currently under construction in Tempe, Arizona, and is expected to be completed by September and serve as home to a low-income family. It will have a usable floorspace of 1,738 sq ft (161 sq m) and will contain three bedrooms and two bathrooms, as well as a living room and kitchen, plus a garage.

More ambitiously though, Habitat for Humanity aims to build on its experience making the home to produce a series of affordable 3D-printed houses. How affordable? We reached out to the nonprofit and received the following statement.

“We’ve not yet tallied the complete cost of the home because almost everything from the slab to the lighting was in-kind donated as is often the case with Habitat homes. This first one will not be cheaper simply because the lead time and costs around a ‘prototype’ process like this. Our hope is that because we’ve been able to prove the technology, others can help us scale it to be more efficient and more cost effective.

 

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