3-D printing is being pitched as the answer to solve a worldwide shortage of affordable homes, and it can do so quickly as it’s possible to construct a home in this fashion within just 24 hours.
A report from Curbed.com highlights the efforts of Icon, a construction technology startup based in Austin, and housing nonprofit group New Story, which have just unveiled their first two 3-D printed homes for low income families in Tabasco, Mexico.
The two 500 square foot homes, built with funding from New Story donors, were 3-D printed in a total of just 24 hours, spread across several days. The homes were printed layer by layer by Icon’s Vulcan II machine, which extruded a proprietary cement-based material called “Lavacrete” to build walls with curved edges.
Each home comes with two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and a bathroom. They also feature red tile roofs that create an overhang on the front patio, so residents have an outdoor space they can sit during warmer weather.
New Story eventually hopes to build 50 such homes in the Tabasco community.
The homes will be offered to low income families in the area chosen according to financial and physical need. The majority of the residents will come from flood-prone areas, the organization said.
The families will get their homes under a zero-interest, zero-profit mortgage that will cost them around 400 pesos ($21) per month. It’s affordable, as the average family in the community earns a median income of $76.50 per month. The mortgage would be paid off in seven years, with New Story subsidizing the rest of the cost of the home.
New Story says the Tabasco community is a prototype to demonstrate 3-D printing’s potential as a solution to affordable housing challenges.