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Two-storey home built with huge 3-D printer

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The home construction industry may be forever changed after a model home was built via a 3-D printer in Belgium.

Have you ever wondered what home construction will look like in the future? Recently, a two-storey home was 3-D printed as one complete piece – this might provide a clue.

The 970 sq. ft. house is 26 feet tall and constructed entirely of concrete and is located in Westerlo, Belgium.

“What makes this house so unique, is that we printed it with a fixed 3-D concrete printer”, said Emiel Ascione, project manager for the Kamp C development. “Other houses that were printed around the world only have one floor. In many cases, the components were printed in a factory and were assembled on-site. We, however, printed the entire building envelope in one piece on-site.”

The house was printed with financing from the European Regional Development Fund. The project partners hope to raise interest in the use of 3-D concrete printing as a building technique.

“3-D printing in construction is experiencing an uptick around the world. Several possibilities, including the printing of provisional housing and even complete apartments, are already being implemented, but this technology is still very novel in Flanders,” said Kathleen Helsen, provincial deputy for housing and the president of Kamp C.

“At the same time, the construction industry is facing unprecedented challenges: we must reduce our consumption of materials and energy, reduce CO2 emissions and the waste stream, the demand for high-quality and affordable housing is on the rise, and so on.”

The house is supposed to be three times sturdier than a house built with quick build brick. There are fibres in the concrete and, as a result, the amount of wire-mesh reinforcement used is limited. The formwork was also redundant, saving an estimated sixty per cent on material, time, and budget.

The prototype home took about three weeks to do. In the future, Kamp C officials believe an entire house could be printed in just under two days.

The model home was designed as a showcase house for the technology. “We developed a low-energy house, with all the mod cons, including floor and ceiling heating, special façade solar panels and a heat pump, and we will also be adding a green roof,” said Ascione.

Eight partners, from the business and scientific community, have joined together for the project. More information is available at https://www.kampc.be/c3po_eng.

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