First 3D printed multi-storey house in the world debuts in Antwerp province

Summary

Students at the Thomas More University College worked with building professionals to create the house in only 15 days

Sustainable building

The first two-storey house in the world made by a 3D printer has been unveiled in Westerlo, Antwerp province. The house was built on site, layer by layer, using nothing but the gigantic printer.

While the project has been in the planning for three years, once started, the small house was built in just 15 days. That is the fasted period in which a house has ever been created with a 3D printer.

The project was co-ordinated by final-year students of Thomas More University College in consultation with building firms and was funded by Antwerp province, the government of Flanders and the European Union.

The printer applied very precise layers of concrete according to its programming (see video below). The interior of the house – located at Kamp C, an expertise centre for sustainable building – was finished via human labour.

“The building was designed with both rounded walls and walls at right angles,” Piet Wielemans of Kamp C told VRT. This was to show what was possible to do with a 3D printer, which can be used for any shape and form of house.

Building a house like this lowers CO2 emissions by some 50% and saves an enormous amount of time

- Piet Wielemans of Kamp C

While France debuted a single-storey 3D printed house two years ago, the walls of that house were filled with concrete after the 3D printer created the polyurethane frames. The walls of the house in Westerlo were actually printed in 3D concrete.

The layers in the new house are currently exposed to illustrate how the printer works but would be covered in insulation and a finishing wall to make it inhabitable. The house offers many advantages in terms of sustainable building, including much less transport.

“Building a house like this lowers CO2 emissions by some 50%,” said Wielemans, “and saves an enormous amount of time.”

According to the partners in the project, the building sector need not fear; there is still much to be done for a new house that requires human intervention. The 3D printing ability is seen as an additional option for new homebuilders of the future.


Photo/video courtesy Kamp C