May 31, 2018 | By Thomas

The city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands will see the first 3D-printed concrete houses built next year in Bosrijk, Meerhoven, the municipality of Eindhoven, Eindhoven University of Technology and the four companies involved announced on Wednesday.

The project, called Project Milestone, is a world's first, as the houses will all be occupied. It consist of five 3D printed houses and will be built consecutively. The first house will be a single-floor dwelling and it is expected to be ready for occupation mid 2019, while the other four will be multi-story houses. The concrete structures will be subject to all the regular building regulations and will meet the demands of current-day occupants concerning comfort, lay-out, quality and pricing.

The municipality of Eindhoven has teamed up with Eindhoven University of Technology, contractor Van Wijnen, real estate manager Vesteda, materials company Saint Gobain-Weber Beamix and engineering firm Witteveen+Bos to realize this project. Vesteda is the prospective buyer of the houses, and will rent them to tenants.

The houses were designed by Houben/Van Mierlo architects, who took inspiration from "erratic blocks in a green landscape". The rounded, asymmetrical shapes of the houses take full advantage of 3D-printing’s ability to construct almost any shape. The design aims at a high level of quality and sustainability; for instance, the 3D printed houses will not have natural gas connections, which is quite rare for Dutch homes.

"We came up with this idea two years ago during the Dutch Design Week," says Theo Salet, who is in charge of the TU/e's 3D Concrete Printing Center. "But you need partners to make such an idea a reality. We have the 3D printing technique and now we want to know what it is like to live in a 3D printed house. We are still learning, and we hope that our team will print out buildings in the future."

During the construction process, all partners will keep doing research on concrete 3D printing for improvement. The five houses will be built consecutively, so the Project Milestone partners can apply the lessons they've learned to the next house. "This means that every new 3D printed house can benefit from advancing insights and knowledge we have learned and can be adapted directly to the wishes of the residents," says Salet.

The building elements of the first house will all be 3D printed at the university. The goal is to gradually move the whole construction work to the actual construction site. The fifth and final house will be 3D printed on site.

 

 

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