AUSTIN, Texas — A technology firm is using its 3D printing capabilities to revolutionize housing in Austin by building a 3D-printed neighborhood.
ICON CEO and co-founder Jason Ballard said this comes at a time when Austin is facing a housing crisis and a shortage of lumbar and labor.
"They are fighting a real uphill battle to deliver more median-priced homes in the Austin area," Ballard said.
While he could not release the exact location of the project or price range of the homes yet, he explained the plan is to provide affordable housing for middle-income families.
Made with proprietary concrete and customer machinery, Ballard said these homes have the potential to be more resilient, efficient and sustainable than standard construction.
The 3D machines can print each home within a week, without compromising architectural design.
“Additive manufacturing has the potential to revolutionize the built environment as it gets adopted by the industry at-scale,” said Martin Voelkle, partner, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group. “By partnering with ICON and Lennar, we are able to see this new technology roll out to the widest possible audience. The 3D-printed architecture and the photovoltaic roofs are innovations that are significant steps towards reducing waste in the construction process, as well as towards making our homes more resilient, sustainable and energy self-sufficient.”
ICON developed its first 3D-printed home in 2018. Earlier this year, it sold four residences and even built homes for a homeless community in East Austin.
This time around, Ballard said he is bringing in a fleet of printers for the first time to accomplish his goal.
"We are really graduating from dozens of houses to hundreds of homes," he said.
As the labor and lumbar shortage impacts construction of traditional homes, Ballard hopes people will embrace new innovative beginnings.
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