High-tech homes: the 3D-printed green building revolution
From 3D-printed buildings to hemp-panelled homes, a hi-tech green building revolution is under way across the globe.
An Australian company has revealed plans to roll out 3D-printed hemp homes, thanks to pioneering technology that could transform residential and commercial building. Positioning itself at the forefront of Australia’s growing hemp industry, Perth-based bio-technology company Mirreco is pursuing a vision of a world where “the dire consequences of global-warming have been averted because we have seized the opportunity to act now”. Mirreco has developed innovative, carbon-neutral hemp panels for residential and commercial building, which it says can be 3D-printed into floors, walls, and roofs.
The fast-growing plant is capable of absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide, making it a particularly efficient and environmentally friendly building material.
The panels are “structurally sound, easy to produce, and provide superior thermal performance” to traditional building materials, the company claims. “Just imagine living and working in buildings that are 3D-printed and available to move into in only a matter of weeks.”
Described as “Aussie ingenuity at its best”, the company recently released the concept for a sustainable hemp home, designed by Perth-based architectural firm Arcforms.
“The floors, walls and roof will all be made using hemp biomass, and the windows will incorporate cutting-edge technology that allows light to pass through glass where it is converted into electricity,” Mirreco says.
Five ‘stone shaped’ 3D-printed houses will be constructed in The Netherlands. Photo: Project Milestone
The Dutch town of Bosrijk, near the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven, was recently announced as the site for the world’s first inhabitable 3D-printed houses.
Project Milestone consists of five sustainable, 3D-printed concrete houses, with residents expected to move in as soon as next year.
Built by a consortium of partners and spearheaded by the Eindhoven University of Technology, the project has been described by developers as a “game changer” which will “stimulate 3D building” worldwide.
“With this technology we can do things we couldn’t do before,” EUT Professor of the Built Environment Theo Salet says.
“In design, for instance, we can create shapes that normally can hardly be made, and that if they can be made, are only produced in large quantities. But here we can do unique industrial custom-made work.” The distinctive Stonehenge-like houses are constructed with minimal waste by a 3D-printing robot which puts down layer upon layer of concrete.
“It’s important to think like the end-user. An end-user wants a nice house in a nice location,” consortium spokesperson Rudy van Gurp says. “Now we’re able to use that technology to create a beautiful house, a place you want to live in and come home to.”