LOS ANGELES (CBS/CBS Newspath/WKRC) - Building a home can be expensive and time-consuming, but some construction companies are now using technology to build homes faster and with less environmental impact.
With the hum of a robotic printer, a groundbreaking approach to home building is underway just outside of Austin, Texas. Homebuilder Lennar is collaborating with construction technology company ICON to build a community of 100 3D-printed homes. A robot prints the full wall system of the home using layers of concrete. “From the foundation to interior and exterior walls, you’re looking at about five to seven weeks,” said Dmitri Julius of ICON.
Builders nationwide are starting to utilize 3-D printing, which is typically faster and cheaper than traditional construction. It’s not just for full-sized homes. In Southern California, Azure Printed Homes is producing shed-size dwelling units that can go in the backyard.
The 3-D printed structures run anywhere from 180 to 900 square feet and are made from recycled materials. “We use recycled plastic as the base of our print material. Plastic bottles and plastic packaging are all broken down and compounded with other additives that give it strength and durability,” said Ross Maguire, CEO of Azure Printed Homes.
Printing to delivery and installation can take about two weeks. Maquire says the 3-D printing process is about 70 percent faster and 25 percent less expensive than traditional construction. By saving time, money, and materials, companies could change how homes are built for years to come.