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The housing market is very hot right now, and home prices are at an all-time high. Why is that? There are a number of factors, but the simplest explanation is based on supply and demand. People are eager to buy homes, but there are labor and material shortages keeping new housing from being built at a fast enough pace. In fact, there is currently an estimated national shortage of 5.5 million homes! Thanks to breakthroughs in 3D printing technology, however, that might be about to change.

 

A 3D-Printed Partnership

Texas-based ICON is one of very few companies that specializes in large-scale 3D printing. Working in tandem with a home construction company called Lennar, they will be creating the largest 3D-printed neighborhood in the world. Construction will begin on 100 single-family homes in Austin, Texas in 2022.

 

Environmental Impact

With this partnership, the two companies hope to circumvent the labor and supply issues currently plaguing home construction, and create new options for quality, affordable housing. The technology should allow for more efficient construction with less impact on the environment. The construction process would eliminate the need for formwork (the concrete molds that cement is poured into), saving money and materials while cutting back on waste and carbon dioxide emissions.

 

Logistics of Large-scale 3D Printing

ICON’s 3D printers are over 15 feet tall and use a concrete-based building material that is layered onto a predefined blueprint. They are capable of building the framework (both the exterior and interior wall system) of a single-family, one-story house in approximately a week. The remaining construction (doors, windows, roof, etc.) would be completed by Lennar.

 

Potential Benefits

ICON believes that their tech can be used to combat homelessness, and could also be a life-saving tool for disaster relief. They have not yet given estimates for the prices of these new homes, but they are being pushed as a more affordable housing option.

 

Conclusion

It may sound like science fiction, but make no mistake: the future is here. At Sharp Loan, we strongly believe in leveraging technology to innovate the lending process and make life easier for our borrowers. Contact us to learn more!