Construction begins on a community of 3D printed homes in Texas

Construction is underway on a community of 100 3D-printed homes in Texas co-designed by Danish architecture studio BIG and American building technology company ICON.

Located in Georgetown – a municipality outside of Austin – the project aims to be the largest community in the world built using 3D printing technology.

BIG and ICON designed 100 3D-printed homes for a community in Texas

Dubbed Wolf Ranch, the community will feature homes co-designed by ICON and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) that come in eight different floor plans with layouts ranging from 1,574 to 2,112 square feet (146 to 196 square meters) .

Construction company Lennar uses ICON’s Vulcan robotic construction system to print the structural elements of the houses.

“Better homes in every way”

The machines use a proprietary concrete developed by ICON called Lavacrete, which the company says is an “extremely durable building material” that can be printed at high speed.

According to ICON, robotics allows walls to be “produced with less waste and with more design freedom”.

“For the first time in the history of the world, we’re seeing a fleet of robots here building an entire community of homes,” said ICON co-founder Jason Ballard. “And not just any houses, better houses in every way.”

“In the future, I believe robots and drones will build entire neighborhoods, cities, and towns, and we will look to the Wolf Ranch community of Lennar as the place where large-scale robotic construction began,” a- he continued.

3D printed house under construction with worker
Homes are built using ICON’s Vulcan system

The houses will be double height, with the walls printed by the Vulcan machines, as well as some of the furniture.

Above the houses will be gabled roof structures clad in metal and topped with photovoltaic panels, according to the team.

The development will contain Texas ranch-style homes

BIG and ICON designed the home to resemble traditional Texas ranch style homes.

“Mixing contemporary Texas ranch-style aesthetics, the 3D-printed home community showcases high architectural and energy-efficient designs that highlight the benefits of resiliency and sustainability with the digital possibilities of additive construction,” said the team.

Inside, the material palette will feature Lavacrete’s grooved concrete on the polished concrete walls and floor.

The plan of the neighborhood resembles that of a traditional American suburban layout with driveways, courtyards, and streets connecting the houses.

Ranging from three to four bedrooms, the homes will retail from around $400,000 and will be available for purchase in 2023.

Other 3D printed residential projects in the United States include the first two-story 3D printed house designed by Hannah in Ithaca, New York and 3D printed houses in California which construction company Mighty Builders says are the first in the world to reach net zero.

Photography courtesy of ICON.

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