Somewhere in Latin America, a small community of 50 farmers and weavers will be getting new, 3D-printed homes. They’ll be built in a 24-hour period by the San Francisco-based design firm Fuseproject, which is working in conjunction with the housing non-profit New Story and ICON, a construction technologies company.
The location is undisclosed at the moment and will be revealed when construction is finished.
View this post on Instagram
Honored, excited, moved to launch today the first 3-D printed community for people living on less than 200$ a month with @newstorycharity . It’s been an amazing process of designing houses with the local community, responding to cultural, climate and individual needs…and delivering a house built in 24 hours. The concrete 3-d printing allows for interior and exterior details and elements not possible (or too expensive) with traditional building. We are staring to print the small village in a few weeks. More details soon 🙂 Thank you to amazing partners #newstorycharity and @icon3dtech !!! #3dprinting
“You can shape the walls to have different functionality; you can create a shower stall that doesn’t have sharp corners,” Fuseproject founder Yves Béhar tells the New York Times. Talking up the customization available within the project, Béhar tells the Times that homeowners can specify a two- or three-bedroom plan and the exterior concrete can be tinted different colors “so it doesn’t become that cookie-cutter look.”
On its website, Fuseproject says it worked with people in the undisclosed community to learn more about their culture and make sure the housing options made sense for their environment. “We used 3D technology and the unique design possibilities it enables to provide solutions that addressed important questions related to climate, family structure, and the role that the homes play in creating a larger community,” the firm says.
Fuseproject notes in its description that for “families living on less than $200 per month, access to safe housing that provides shelter from both environmental and physical danger is critical.” It’s worth noting that physical materials and construction costs are only part of what drives up housing prices, something that made experts cast doubt on Elon Musk’s recent plans for building bricks for affordable housing out of dirt used by The Boring Company.
It’s a metric that’s difficult to analyze at this juncture due to the secretive location of the Fuseproject homes.
“We feel it’s our responsibility to challenge traditional methods,” says New Story CEO Brett Hagler in a press statement. “Linear methods will never reach the billion-plus people who need safe homes. Challenging our assumptions, iterating based on data, and taking calculated risks on innovative ideas will allow us to reach more families with the best possible solutions, exponentially faster.”