ICON, the company that has been given nearly $60 million and tasked by NASA to build homes and habitats on the Moon and Mars, is using the same 3D technology to build a one-story residence in a master-planned community in the Texas Hill Country using – with pricing in the mid $400,000s.
Reservation for 100 houses coming live shortlyWith the first move-ins expected later this year.
Seven of ICON’s 3D robotic printers are now squeezing out material for the walls of homes near Austin, Texas that were designed by. Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and is being developed by Lennar – one of the largest homebuilders in the country.
BIG is often involved in cutting-edge architecture, such as its sail-like rental apartment building for Durst at Via 57 West in New York City – as well as designing NASA’s Moon and Mars habitats.
The homes in Texas are located within Wolf Ranch, a master-planned community by Perot Company’s Hillwood Communities.
Located near the San Gabriel River just west of I-35 in the suburb of Georgetown, Wolf Ranch’s large tracts are already filled with couples and children in homes developed by a flurry of builders nationwide, including Coventry, Dries, Highland and Perry. pluses included. Another neighborhood built by Lenar.
Georgetown, for its part, is a charming, historic city of more than 75,000 people where “Friday Night Lights” and “Dazed and Confused” were filmed, and now operates on 100% renewable energy. Those who live here are at odds with the regime – a local brewery uses 100% wind power for its beer.
The tract where Lennar and ICON are busy printing and completing homes is on the eastern side of Wolfe Ranch Parkway, known as the South Fork.
An additional clubhouse and swimming pool are being developed by Hillwood nearby, while the community’s original amenity centre, The Den, is in the hilltop area to the north. A comprehensive homeowner’s association is responsible for the balance which includes amenities and alarm monitoring.
Not only will the single-family Lennar Ranch-style residences feature thick 3D-printed walls, but they’ll also come equipped with Sunnova solar systems.
Pricing for all Wolf Ranch homes typically ranges from the mid-$400,000s to north of $1 million, although some price tags were dropped last fall as interest rates rose to combat sluggish inflation.
But it is the faster and cheaper construction promised by 3D robotics – walls can go up within days – and the ability to add heavy and difficult-to-transport water to the site, which has attracted supporters and investors who see it as an ideal Also seen as affordable home construction solutions.
Last announcing their 3D Home project, Lennar Executive Chairman Stuart Miller said, “We are thrilled to partner with ICON and BIG in building a first-of-its-kind, printed home community that combines innovative designs with sustainable features. connects to affordable price. Given the housing shortage that persists across the country, it has never been more important to innovate to find new methods of construction that will enable greater design flexibility and greater production at affordable prices.
Now worth more than $2 billion, ICON uses its proprietary 3D printer “Vulcan,” and a proprietary concrete formulation called “Lavacrete.”
Just as your individual printer cartridges move back and forth on an ink-spraying track, the Vulcan’s nozzle moves on a long, customizable rail attached to its massive gantry – at Wolf Ranch it’s 38 feet wide and 10 feet high Builds Walls – A toothpaste-like column of gray spaghetti continuously while squeezing out, laying each row of lavacrete on top of the one before.
The solid formula is mixed in an attached “Magma” machine. But to ensure that the lavacrete hardens at a certain rate—so that it can both support the next layer but not crumble—it must be changed with the seasons and adjusted on the fly at the job site.
The ultra-strong material, which ICON claims exceeds strength requirements by up to 350%, was designed to withstand extreme weather—the snow storms and hurricanes that hit Texas—and water-, mold-, termite- – and is fire resistant. Already, its homes have survived the test of 250 mph winds and a magnitude 7.4 earthquake in Mexico.
Although the “normal” dusky gray color of concrete is not always cosmetically appealing, the powder can be altered so that it appears lighter and whiter. All houses in Wolf Ranch will have white interiors, while exteriors will be brown.
While some critics say the hardest part of 3D building is getting windows and doors to fit properly, business leaders from Lennar, BIG Architects and ICON experts collaborated on easy installation solutions for Wolf Ranch.
Lenor prepares the site and pours the concrete slab foundation so that ICON can print the walls and cut spots for the plumbing and electrical boxes. Then the other trades at Lennar come back and install all the mechanicals and the roof that gets its solar panels.
While it’s easy to imagine that 3D-printed homes would resemble the “Little Box” suggested for cookie-cutter homes with Pete Seeger’s chorus, “And they’re all made of ticks / And they all look alike.” are ”- this will not happen at Wolfe Ranch.
That’s because the new homes can be customized with three or four bedrooms and two or three baths using eight different plans and 24 configurations, and will range in size from 1,574 to 2,112 square feet.
ICON is also printing kitchen islands and outdoor planters, while some homes will also have a printed credenza.
Lennar, which invested in Icon’s Series B funding round through its LenX division, will also include a connected home package that includes a Ring Video Doorbell Pro, a Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt and a Honeywell Home T6 Pro WiFi Smart Thermostat Is.
“For the first time in the history of the world, what we’re seeing here is a fleet of robots building entire communities of homes. And not just any homes, homes that are better in every way… better design, Higher power, higher energy performance and comfort, and increased flexibility,” ICON co-founder Jason Ballard said last fall. “In the future, I believe robots and drones will build entire neighborhoods, towns and cities, and we look back to the Wolf Ranch community of Lennar as the place where large-scale robotic manufacturing began. There is a long way to go, but I believe this is a very exciting and hopeful turn in the way the world is addressing housing issues.