Homes in the Netherlands are concrete example of 3D printing’s potential

A small community of 3D-printed concrete houses is coming to the city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Dubbed Project Milestone, the construction project will include five homes built sustainably and energy-efficiently using some of the latest techniques in 3D-printing.

Designed for efficiency, the first house will feature floor space of just over 1,000 square feet and walls just under two-inches thick. After the first home is constructed, the others will be relatively elaborate, with multiple stories, patios, and balconies.

“These homes express the freedom of shapes,” Rudy van Gurp, a project manager at Van Wijnen, a construction company that is working on Project Milestone, told Digital Trends. “It is a high-end design to let the world know that everything is possible.”

Three-dimensional printing has been heralded as one of the most disruptive technologies of the 21st century, finding applications in the arts, in the hospital, and even in the kitchen. It also has the potential to become a key part of more sustainable construction, helping decrease material costs along the way.

“[Three-dimensional] printing is already sustainable by using less material … less waste, and less failure,” Van Gurp said. “As cement production is one of the main CO2 sources worldwide, it will be a great reduction of CO2 emission.”

Project Milestone will serve as a focal point of Bosrijk, branded as a sculpture garden in the Meerhoven district of Eindhoven. Last year, the city became home to the first 3D-printed concrete bridge.

The first house in Project Milestone will be printed offsite and assembled on location, serving as a sort of default example from which the other structures will take inspiration. The construction teams behind the project hope that by the fifth house, they’ll be able to print the structures entirely on-site.

Project Milestone is a collaboration between the engineers at the Technical University of Eindhoven, Van Wijnen, real estate manager Vesteda, materials firm Saint Gobain-Weber Beamix, and engineers Witteveen and Bos.

The first stage is scheduled to be completed in 2019, at which point the first residents of the 3D-printed concrete tiny home community will move in. Prices have not yet been determined.

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