Promoted a technology company, during South by Southwest (SXSW)In Austin (Texas, USA), a guided tour of his “House Zero”, a large architectural project filled with 3D printed elements.
According to ICON, the American construction company responsible for its realization, this “Casa Zero” combines the aesthetics of a typical rural Texas residence with the digital possibilities of futuristic construction — or, who knows, contemporary.
“Our House Zero is ground zero of completely new design languages that will use robotic construction to do what we need most in a dwelling: comfort, beauty, dignity, sustainability, affordability and hope,” he said. business season Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of ICON.
Were it not for the series of panels and posters to call attention to its specifications, the exterior of the building would not stand out much in the neighborhood of East Austin, where it is located. What’s cool: Blending in with the rest of the house, “House Zero” looks like something you can expect to see soon.
From afar, it looks like a modern restaurant or the home of some millionaires, especially those fond of gray — easy to use in such large-scale 3D-printed enterprises, Ballard explains.
“My hope is that this home will inspire architects, developers, builders and homeowners to dream about an exciting and optimistic future, especially as robotic construction with 3D printing makes possible the housing we know today. “
It is also inside that the house looks somewhat different. The feeling of being in a less spacious building, as if it were made of bamboo. Resistant, and even comfortable, but more sensitive to wind, heat, humidity, rain and outside noise. Habitable, sure, but probably less comfortable in the long run than a traditional home.
Nevertheless, its creators point out that over 180 square metres, the construction with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms features a 3D printed flexible wall system that replaces the traditionally built multi-stage construction – thus, saving time and resources. saves. “Home walls, for example, are made from cement-based materials that provide insulation with steel reinforcement. This is an incredible advance for 3D construction”, defines Jason Ballard.
The entrepreneur says that the fact that the construction is done with 3D printed parts doesn’t affect the strength of the structures, thanks to the type of material the company uses. “Our walls have a material that delays the transfer of heat into the home and promotes good insulation, as well as increasing energy efficiency and reducing costs in the long run”, he says.
What does Casa Zero need?
The house was built in about two months, the total cost of which was not officially disclosed, but which is probably still very high due to the cost of the materials used. However, for its builders, it is only a matter of time before this innovation becomes a reality in homes not only in the United States, but around the world.
One of the barriers, ICON’s CEO explains, is precisely the population’s resistance to feeling safe with 3D-printed solutions – especially when it literally involves living under a roof that can be created by printers.
Another issue is cost: the technology is still very new and used on a lesser scale, resulting in higher prices – for a proposition that also aims to reduce the resources needed to build a home.
There’s another obstacle, Jason Ballard explains. “It’s the government rules about what can and can’t be authorized as construction. Government regulations and building permits vary widely around the world. But one thing they all have in common is The reluctance of government agencies to allow the technology to be used by the general population is such an early stage”, he says.
ICON says it wants to set new standards for the future of providing high-speed, low-cost custom-built housing. Having raised $451 million in funding so far, ICON has distributed 3D-printed home communities throughout the US and internationally.
In 2020, the company entered into a research contract with the US Air Force, which included funding from NASA to begin research and development of a building system beyond the ends of the Earth. Its purpose is to support future exploration of the Moon – and beyond.