Architecture

"Panelized" 3D-printed homes to form sustainable estate in California

"Panelized" 3D-printed homes t...
Mighty Buildings is putting together a community of 3D-printed homes in California it says will be net zero energy thanks to rooftop solar
Mighty Buildings is putting together a community of 3D-printed homes in California it says will be net zero energy thanks to rooftop solar
View 4 Images
Mighty Buildings 3D prints the pieces for its houses at its facility in Oakland
1/4
Mighty Buildings 3D prints the pieces for its houses at its facility in Oakland
Mighty Building's 3D-printed homes will feature three bedrooms, two bathrooms and backyards with decking and swimming pools
2/4
Mighty Building's 3D-printed homes will feature three bedrooms, two bathrooms and backyards with decking and swimming pools
Diagram depicting Mighty Building's panelized approach to 3D-printed homes
3/4
Diagram depicting Mighty Building's panelized approach to 3D-printed homes
Mighty Buildings is putting together a community of 3D-printed homes in California it says will be net zero energy thanks to rooftop solar
4/4
Mighty Buildings is putting together a community of 3D-printed homes in California it says will be net zero energy thanks to rooftop solar
View gallery - 4 images

Over the past few years, we've seen a number of 3D-printed homes and developments begin to take shape as the technology matures and opens up new architectural possibilities. A new community being constructed in California is another interesting look at this trend, with local company Mighty Buildings taking a pre-fab approach in which panels are 3D printed and shipped as kits for more efficient construction on site.

Mighty Buildings is putting together the new 3D-printed community with the help of developer Palari, with the pair landing a 5-acre (2-ha) slice of land in Rancho Mirage, California. The US$15-million development will consist of 15 homes, which will be topped by solar panels to form a zero net energy community.

These homes feature three bedrooms, two bathrooms and backyards with decking and swimming pools. The solar panels can be supplemented with optional Tesla Powerwall batteries and electric vehicle charging ports, while other available extras include hot tubs, fire pits and outdoor showers. Also available are configurations with a smaller secondary residence on the property, adding a further two bedrooms and one bathroom.

Mighty Building's 3D-printed homes will feature three bedrooms, two bathrooms and backyards with decking and swimming pools
Mighty Building's 3D-printed homes will feature three bedrooms, two bathrooms and backyards with decking and swimming pools

We have seen work begin on different 3D-printed communities around the world, offering low-cost housing solutions for people in Latin America and Texas. These homes can be made cheaply and efficiently, with 3D printers used to extrude a mortar out of a nozzle, building up the basic structures of the house layer-by-layer, with humans then adding finishing touches like windows and doors.

Mighty Buildings instead 3D prints the pieces for its houses at its facility in Oakland. The company says these prefabricated panels, which combine steel frames with insulation materials, air/moisture/fire barriers and interior and exterior finishes, replace up to eight layers of conventional construction materials and eliminate 99 percent of the typical waste. These are then shipped as kits and assembled onsite, where they slash labor hours by 95 percent.

Diagram depicting Mighty Building's panelized approach to 3D-printed homes
Diagram depicting Mighty Building's panelized approach to 3D-printed homes

"This will be the first on-the-ground actualization of our vision for the future of housing – able to be deployed rapidly, affordably, sustainably, and able to augment surrounding communities with a positive dynamic," says Alexey Dubov, co-Founder and COO of Mighty Buildings.

With the site secured, development is now said to be underway with homes available via presale with prices starting at US$595,000 for a base model, while the two-home configuration with upgrades will cost up to $950,000.

You can check out the promo video below.

World's First 3D Printed Zero Net Energy Homes Community in America!

Source: Mighty Buildings via PRNewswire

View gallery - 4 images
10 comments
GoWelch
Wow, this sounds like utopia! How can you reduce labor by 95% when you flat pack components and ship them to a job site? You still have to assemble the site and put together the pieces. How do you reduce waste by 99% when you still have constriction waste.

This is not reality! Why are these things printed? Let’s do a post Morton and see if these claims become reality!
CAVUMark
Baffles me. 3D print, less waste, faster build times, less labor but still nearly $1M for a home. More profits? Sustainable is the new buzz word for the industry, just like All Natural was for food years back. I think this is a great technology but please make it affordable or just mention we are building in CA so don't expect these home to be affordable.
David
Would it not be more efficient to flow the concrete into moulds instead of 3D print them. In addition, the concrete mix for the slim panels could be strengthened by inclusion of fine strands of used plastic that would otherwise go to landfill.
michael_dowling
Net zero is good for sure,but these homes have no aesthetic appeal from the outside. Oh well,I won't have to live in one.
Raymond White
Regarding affordability I'm basically in agreement with CAVUMark, but it IS in California, where real estate prices are simply absurd.

David, what you are describing has been being done for the past twenty years at least. It's called Insulated Concrete Form construction and is a great way to build highly energy efficient homes.
Worzel
Britain was making ''prefabs'' at the end of WW2. Some of them are still being used today.
There doesn't seem to be very much 3D printing in these constructions, just prefabbed panels, for assembly on site. A German company has been doing the same for years, and an example can be seen in one of the ''Grand Designs'' programs on YouTube. They are infinitely superior to these prefabbed boxes, and there are multiple designs to choose from.
Douglas Rogers
Having tried to put a mobile home on a basement, I know you need a vertically integrated system. Otherwise, you will get caught with your pants down!
ljaques
"Our focus is on affordability and sustainability." Well, now you know he's lying through his teeth. 15 homes on 5 acres, less roads and alleys? That's a $200k home on a 1/4 acre lot, if that. They talk about low-cost fabrication, then charge a mil for =that= crap? Rotsa ruck, guys. (They already have twelve suckers lined up, eh?)
FB36
"We have seen work begin on different 3D-printed communities around the world, offering low-cost housing solutions for people"

Single story buildings require massive land so cannot really provide a large scale solution for many millions of people!

IMHO, true solution as large scale cheap housing for whole world needs to be based on shipping container architecture!
Imagine standardized large skyscraper metal skeleton (only) buildings, just providing slots for standardized mass-produced shipping container housing units!
Bruce H. Anderson
Pre-fab is nothing new, as mentioned in other comments, and we can add Alaska to the list. I assume they have figured out chases for electrical and plumbing. They might consider tilting those solar panels a bit. The roof will eventually need to be replaced, which may not be expensive since it a 1950's flat style, except for taking off and re-installing all those panels. Considering the pools and hot tubs and outdoor showers, it is a statement piece for the well-heeled and an excellent example of greenwashing.