Malaysia is a beautiful country enriched with diverse culture, and in 2021 it is also set to become an innovator in the world of 3D printing. BiodiverCity, the brainchild of architect Bjarke Ingels’ company BIG, will raise the standard of infrastructure using construction 3D printing technology around the world. The project, a city of three islands connected by autonomous vehicles, will eventually be a transport free and some buildings will be printed on-site to reduce carbon emissions.
The use of 3D printing within the construction industry is not new of course. The Danish company COBOD recently registered profits up 100% on the previous year, proof that their innovation using the construction 3D printing technology is proving successful. Manufactur3D also reported recently how a 3D printed building in Chennai broke boundaries right here in India too, going up inside just three weeks and using 100% 3D printed materials. Around the world, the concept of 3D printed homes is growing in popularity, but a whole city is pushing the boundaries that little bit further, which is exactly what you would expect from 46-year-old Ingels.
“We are literally embarking on a journey to create more of Malaysia for future generations,” he said of the project in Penang. “We have decided to set the bar as high as humanly possible by imagining a new archipelago that aims to be both more culturally and biologically diverse than previous developments.”
The site will cover 4500 acres and eventually feature almost three miles of famed Malaysian beaches, 600 acres of green park space and more than 15 miles of waterfront. The three islands will be named the Channels, Mangroves, and Laguna, and will serve as cultural business and residential hubs.
Why Malaysia, and why Penang? Malaysia is ripe for development as the world opens up again in 2021, with people attracted to the country by the low costs of living combined with the wonderful landscape and lifestyle. In the ExpatBets guide to Malaysia, they discuss the country already has some of the lowest living costs in the world, which coupled with the coastal areas and enticing culture make it alluring for those looking to relocate for a different way of life.
Previously, projects in Penang have been accused of disrupting wildlife and coastal areas, which is why BiodiverCity is being done differently. Most of the buildings will be prefabricated or 3D printed on-site, reducing the carbon emissions during the construction process. Other buildings will use sustainable materials such as bamboo, Malaysian timber and a green concrete made from recycled materials. Business Insider reports there will even be a Smart grid giving inhabitants live data about waste and energy consumption. Not only will the project ensure an environmentally-friendly build, but it could pave the way for future projects in South Asia.
The method of construction is not the only green element though, with the developers eager to ensure the city comes together with its habitat, rather than taking it over. Builders will include canopies and waterways for wildlife to navigate the city, and each district will be separated by a buffer of between 50m and 100m to protect the wildlife and create a more mindful space for inhabitants, human and otherwise.
The whole project is expected to take several years and should focus the eyes of the world on the possibilities of construction 3D printing technology as a sustainable building option on a large scale.
About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D Printing. Visit our Global News page for more updates on Global 3D Printing News. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.