Innovation That Matters

A New Story 3D-printed house | Photo source Joshua Perez/Courtesy of New Story

3D-printed communities provide housing for unsheltered families

Architecture & Design

Each home takes 24 hours to print and is completed by local construction experts, with input from the future homeowners an integral part of the process


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Spotted: When seeking innovative solutions for our global homelessness problem, the New Story charity discovered that this is an issue that traditional construction methods just cannot keep up with. Based in San Francisco, the charity works with communities around the world to design and build neighbourhoods of affordable, owned 3D printing homes, built in partnership with Texas-based construction technology company, ICON.

The homes are made from concrete and local workers are hired to complete each build, including the roofing, doors, windows, plumbing and electricity. Each structure contains two bedrooms, a kitchen, living room and bathroom, and the design is built to withstand earthquakes. New Story only builds communities, never single homes and the location of each new neighbourhood is built in close proximity to essentials places of employment and education.

Labourers that work on a New Story neighbourhood receive fair wages and families have complete legal ownership of the land upon which their home sits. The first 3D printed community is in Tabasco, Mexico and consists of 50 homes. More are planned, and the charity actively seeks partners to further facilitate the sharing of ideas and best practices.

The use of 3D printing is expanding in a variety of applications and a range of industries. Projects that look to solve long-standing social problems with previously-unthought of answers are creating everything from reef tiles for coral restoration, to new options for large-scale lengths.

Written by: Keely Khoury

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