- The fastest time to print one house in the Mvule Gardens project was 18 hours.
Holcim, the cement and concrete giant, announced that 14Trees, a joint venture company formed in collaboration with British International Investment, has completed the construction of ten 3D printed houses in just ten weeks. 14Trees used COBOD’s BOD2 construction 3D printer to build one house per week on average.
This week, 14Trees revealed some of the preliminary results of their efforts to 3D print up to 52 houses in Kilifi, Kenya, using a single COBOD BOD2 printer. The BOD2 is the best-selling construction 3D printer in the world. After beginning in October 2022, 14Trees completed the 3D printing of the walls of ten houses in January 2023 in just 10 weeks using only one printer.
14Trees builds 10 3D Printed Houses
Mvule Gardens in Kilifi, a town in Kenya, is the largest 3D printed project to date, with 10 3D printed houses, including 6 three-bedrooms (76 m2 / 836 SF) and 4 two-bedrooms (56 m2 / 616 SF).
Furthermore, the project’s sustainability profile was awarded an EDGE Advanced sustainable design certification by IFC, the World Bank’s development finance institution, which recognises resource-efficient buildings with zero-carbon potential. This is the first time a 3D printed housing project has been certified.
“With 3D printing, you can solve two problems at once. You can build faster like we have shown here with our 10 houses in 10 weeks. At the same time, we can achieve better cost efficiency, which will help make affordable housing a reality for the majority. In addition, you can build with less materials, which preserves the resources of the planet for future generations.”– Francois Perrot, Managing Director, 14Trees
14Trees intends to maximise the benefits of the large-scale project by experimenting and innovating as it moves forward. Several innovations will be included in the subsequent phases, which will consist of 10-15 houses each, to allow future tenants to design their homes and move away from the standardised 3D printed approach to one that fully leverages the technology’s customisation possibilities.
The cost of construction is also being considered. 14Trees’ goal with each phase is to reduce construction costs further so that the overall cost is 20% less than standard houses. TectorPrint, manufactured in a local plant using Holcim’s proprietary 3D printing materials, has already resulted in significant cost savings.
Commenting on the performance of 14Trees in relation to the developments in the US, Philip Lund-Nielsen, Head of COBOD Americas stated, “Considering how difficult the conditions are in Africa, it is impressive, that 14Trees has printed more houses on a single site, than any other construction 3D printing company in the US or elsewhere. In addition, they have done it faster, using just a single COBOD 3D printer not by using 5 printers or more”.
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