Some experts say affordable housing’s future will come from gigantic 3-D printers, and the nation’s best-known house-building charity just built its first one in Arizona.
TEMPE, Ariz. – Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona is building the global housing nonprofit’s first 3D-printed home in the United States. Construction of the home, which began in May, combines 3D printing using a Build on Demand Printer (BOD 2) shipped from Germany-based PERI Group.
“While we have found success in building small 3D-printed homes abroad, at 1,700 square feet, this home represents Habitat’s entry into new, innovative space,” says Adrienne Goolsby, senior vice president of U.S. and Canada at Habitat for Humanity International. “It is the first of its kind in the U.S. and sets the stage for increased capacity through a solution that could be both sustainable and cost-effective.”
Goolsby says Habitat will continue to study the process and its “potential to be scaled and more widely adopted, so that we can further address the critical issue of home affordability in the U.S.”
At 1,738 square feet of livable space, the custom, single-family home will feature three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and overlook a community park. Approximately 70%-80% of the home will be 3D printed, including all the internal and external walls. The rest will be done using traditional construction methods. The home will be solar ready once construction is completed, and Habitat Central Arizona is also pursuing a LEED Platinum certification and IBHS FORTIFIED Home designation.
Long term, a 3D-printed home could help address current challenges in the housing market, such as the rising cost of labor, lumber and other construction materials. It also helps in hotter climates, such as Arizona and Florida, where summer temperatures can put Habitat’s staff and volunteers at risk.
“If we can deliver decent, affordable, more energy-efficient homes at less cost, in less time and with less waste, we think this can be a real game-changer,” says Jason Barlow, president and CEO of Habitat Central Arizona.
The home is expected to be completed in the early fall and could be occupied as soon as October 2021.
About Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity started as a grassroots movement on an interracial community farm in south Georgia. Since its founding in 1976, the Christian housing organization has grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.
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