Jul 18, 2017 | By Julia

Dutch construction company De Meeuw has teamed up with DUS Architects to develop a 3D printed building façade that is 100% sustainable and entirely recyclable.

Homeowners will know that adapting or refurbishing a building can be a nightmare. The original façade can rarely be reused in the new design, and is typically discarded. Consequently, the decision to replace or sometimes reposition the façade requires lots of manpower, time, and money, on top of creating additional waste. Even when attempting to reposition the old façade, parts must always be replaced, and new materials are required.

Taking this problem as their starting point, De Meeuw and DUS Architects have set out to innovate a new 3D printed design that can be entirely reused, whether it’s been 1 years, 5 years, or 20 years. Grinding the façade to plastic pellets makes way for a new façade to be 3D printed. Additionally, the two companies have ensured that the original façade is made from recycled materials, such as shampoo bottles, as well.

"At a time when governments, but also users, rightly demand that buildings and homes become increasingly flexible and more sustainable, we sought a solution to the difficult-to-recycle façade," said Els van Mierop, Commercial Director at De Meeuw.

"Through this collaboration, we can provide our customers with full flexibility and freedom of expression that fits our sustainability goals. At the same time, we keep the buildings and homes affordable, due to the digitization of the process and the lack of costs for combustion and new material," van Mierop said.

biodegradable plastic pellets form the basis of the 3D printed façade​

De Meeuw predicts that by digitizing the process, the resulting buildings and homes can remain affordable. The company has also touted the benefits of 3D printing in terms of design: creating façades by way of additive manufacturing means a freer design, allowing new demands and requirements to be met each time, they say.

DUS Architects has previously cut its teeth designing and printing bioplastic façades for the acclaimed Europa Building in Amsterdam. The architectural agency also made a name for itself in its past experiments on a 3D printed canal house.

Through collaborations with DUS Architects, De Meeuw is also seeking to launch its new label for the housing market, NEZZT.

This coming June, De Meeuw and DUS Architects will showcase the first mock-up of what they anticipate will be the future of 3D printed façades. The first official façade is expected to be completed in autumn of 2018.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Kevin wrote at 7/19/2017 7:01:00 PM:

I'm a great fan of 3D printing, sustainability and architecture. It is great to see all tree combined. One question I have is, looking at the disaster in London with the Grenfell tower, how fire save is using a 3D printed plastic facade for a building ? Does this comply with the H&S/building regulations ?

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