High-tech homes: the 3D-printed green build­ing rev­o­lu­tion

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Property Guide - - PROPERTY GUIDE - Writ­ten by | realestat­e­view.com.au in ACT

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.”

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