Our (3D-Printed) House, in the Middle of the Street

Building houses using bricks, mortar and traditional building tools will one day become a thing of the past, according to Eindhoven University & Technology (TU/e) and their partners. They are preparing to build, or rather print, five houses using 3D-printing technology in the Netherlands.

3D-printed houses in Eindhoven

Artist impression of 3D-printed houses in Eindhoven

If all goes to plan, the Project Milestone consortium – consisting of TU/e, Municipality of Eindhoven, van Wijnen, Vesteda, Weber Beamix and Witteveen+Bos - will result in a major transformation in the construction industry. The five 3D-printed concrete houses will be the world’s first commercial dwellings of its kind. The first house is planned  to be ready by mid-2019 and will meet all modern comfort requirements.

Multi-story houses

The Dutch city of Eindhoven is the location for the build. The first house will be a single-story structure. But as the project carries on, houses up to 3 stories high are planned. In the early stages, parts of the buildings will be printed at TU/e. However, in the near future, the group will shift the printing operations directly to the building site.

The multi-story houses will have concrete floors, and a 3D-printed concrete roof, whereas the single-floor building will be topped with a wooden roof. The foundations of the houses will be constructed from conventional poured concrete.

3D-printed bridge

It is not Project Milestone’s first 3D-printed object. They were also involved in the world’s first 3D-printed bridge, now used by many commuting cyclists near the Dutch village of Gemert.

Why concrete?

Printing concrete houses has many advantages. Less building materials are wasted during the construction process. Making concrete takes a lot of energy and emits large amounts greenhouse gasses, so using less materials will reduce CO2 emission in the long run.

Also, using cement makes it easier to customize houses to meet individual requirements. 3D- printing of concrete is a potential game changer in the building industry. Besides the ability to construct almost any shape, it also enables architects to design finely detailed concrete structures. Another possibility is the ability to 3D-Print concrete in a variety of qualities and colors , all in a single product, according to TU/e spokesperson.