In a world first, a family in France has moved into a 3D-printed house. The prototype property consists of four bedrooms and is an effort to speed up housebuilding and assist affordability
The 3D-printed house uses curved walls to reduce the effects of humidity and digital controls for disabled people to enhance accessibility.
The home took 54 hours to print – with four additional months for contractors to include things such as windows, doors and the roof – and costs around £176,000 to build which makes it 20% cheaper than an identical construction using more traditional solutions.
The team now say they could print the same house again in only 33 hours.
The printed home is the result of collaboration between the city council, a housing association and the University of Nantes.
Francky Trichet, the council’s lead on technology and innovation, states the purpose of the project was to ascertain whether this type of construction could become mainstream for housing, and whether its principles could be applied to other communal buildings, such as sports halls.
He believes this modern method of construction will disrupt the construction industry.
Trichet said: “For 2,000 years there hasn’t been a change in the paradigm of the construction process. We wanted to sweep this whole construction process away.
“That’s why I’m saying that we’re at the start of a story. We’ve just written, ‘Once upon a time’.”
The house has been built in a run-down neighbourhood in the north of the town and was partly funded by the council.
Nordine and Nouria Ramdani, along with their three children, were selected to live there.
“It’s a big honour to be a part of this project,” says Nordine.
“We lived in a block of council flats from the 60s, so it’s a big change for us.
“It’s really something amazing to be able to live in a place where there is a garden, and to have a detached house.”
The house is designed in a studio by a team of architects and scientists, and then programmed into a 3D printer.
The printer is then transported to the site of the home.
It works by printing in layers from the floor upwards. Each wall comprises two layers of the insulator polyurethane, with space in-between which is filled with cement.
The house was the creation of Benoit Furet, who runs the project at the University of Nantes.