A. The Dutch couple have become Europe’s first tenants of a fully 3D-printed house in a development that their sponsors believe will open up a world of options in the shape and style of the houses of the future.
Elize Lutz, 70, and Harrie Dekkers, 67, retired merchants from Amsterdam, received their digital key, an app that allows them to open the front door of their two-bedroom bungalow with the push of a button, on Thursday.
“It’s beautiful,” Lutz said. “It has the feel of a bunker, it feels safe,” Dekkers added.
Inspired by the shape of a rock, the dimensions of which would be difficult and expensive to build with traditional methods, the property is the first of five homes designed by the construction company Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix for a plot of land next to the Beatrix canal. in the Eindhoven suburb of Bosrijk.
In the last two years, partially constructed properties have been built using 3D printing in France and the US, and fledgling projects are proliferating around the world.
But those behind the Dutch house, which boasts 94 square meters of living space, are said to have surpassed its rivals by being the first legally habitable and commercially rented property where load-bearing walls have been made with a nozzle of 3D printer.
“This is also the first that is 100% allowed by local authorities and is inhabited by people who actually pay to live in this house,” said Bas Huysmans, CEO of Weber Benelux, a construction subsidiary of its French parent company. . Holy gobain.
The first completed house from the Milestone Project, a partnership with Eindhoven University of Technology and the Vesteda housing corporation, would be released on the rental market in 2019, but the architect’s design challenges, which involved hanging external walls, caused delays.
The 3D printing method involves a huge robotic arm with a nozzle that spews out specially formulated cement, said to have the texture of whipped cream. The cement is “printed” according to an architect’s design, adding layer upon layer to create a wall to increase its strength.
The point where the nozzle head had to be changed after hours of operation is visible in the pattern of the walls of the new bungalow, as well as small errors in the impression of the cement, perhaps familiar to anyone who has used an ink printer.
But although it is early, many within the construction industry see the 3D printing method as a way to reduce costs and environmental damage by reducing the amount of cement that is used. In the Netherlands, it also offers an alternative at a time when there is a shortage of skilled masons.
The new house consists of 24 concrete elements that were printed layer by layer in a plant in Eindhoven before being transported by truck to the construction site and placed on a base. Then a roof and window frames were put in place, and the finishing touches were applied.
By the time the fifth of the houses, which comprises three floors and three bedrooms, is built, construction is expected to be done entirely on-site and other installations with the printer will also be done, further reducing costs.
“If you look at what time we really needed to print this house, it was only 120 hours,” Huysmans said. “So all the elements, if we had printed them at once, it would have taken us less than five days because the great benefit is that the printer does not need to eat, it does not need to sleep, it does not need to rest. So if we start tomorrow and learn how to do it, we can print the next house in five days. “
Lutz and Dekkers, who have lived in four different types of home in the six years since their two oldest daughters left the family home, are paying € 800 (£ 695) a month to live in the property for six months from 1 of August. after answering a call from applicants on the Internet. “I saw the drawing of this house and it was exactly like a fairytale garden,” Lutz said.
Market rent would normally be twice what the couple pays. “Did we make money with this first house? No, ”Huysmans said. “Do we expect to lose money on house number two, three, four and five? Not.
“With 3D printing there is great creativity and great flexibility in design,” he added. “Why did we go to such a lengthy effort to print this ‘rock’? Because this perfectly demonstrates that you can do any shape you want to do. “
Yasin Torunoglu, Councilor for Housing and Spatial Development for the Municipality of Eindhoven, said: “With the house printed in 3D, you now set the tone for the future: the rapid realization of affordable housing with control over the shape of your own house.”