3D Printed House Project
Alquist, a 3D printing home construction company, and Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg have partnered to build a 3D printed home in Williamsburg. The project represents Habitat for Humanity’s first 3D printed home on the East Coast, following a project begun this spring in Tempe, AZ.
This partnership between Alquist and Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg is a step forward in addressing the lack of affordable homes in the U.S.
Alquist uses concrete to 3D print its homes, saving up to 15% per square foot in building costs based on preliminary estimates. Concrete also confers additional long-term savings because it better retains temperature, saving on heating and cooling costs. It is resistant to tornado and hurricane damage.
This 3D home will be approximately 1,200-square-feet, with three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Every new home built by Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg is EarthCraft certified. EarthCraft is a voluntary green building program that serves as a blueprint for healthy, comfortable homes and works to both reduce utility bills and minimize environmental impacts.
Construction of each home built by Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg is a cooperative effort between volunteers, house sponsors, and the buyers of the home. Participating families provide at least 300 hours of work toward building their own and other families’ homes, called sweat equity.
Once completed, this home will be sold to April and her family of two. Although April has worked at a local hotel for almost five years supervising the laundry facilities, her income is still less than 80% of the area median income, which has made it difficult to save enough to become a homeowner.
Once construction is complete, and thanks to Habitat’s homebuyer program, April’s home purchase will result in monthly mortgage payments of no more than 30 percent of her income, including her real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance.
The U.S. gravely needs homes that are affordable because of the housing shortage caused by the pandemic, climate change, and economic migration. Bidding wars have pushed entire populations out of the housing market. In fact, for every $1,000 increase in the price of a home, 153,967 families are priced out (National Association of Home Builders). Skyrocketing lumber prices (300% since April 2020 – NAHB) have increased the average price of a single-family home by almost $36,000. This puts new houses out of the purchasing range of more than 5.5 million families.
Each Alquist home comes equipped with Virginia Tech’s proprietary Raspberry Pi-based monitoring system, which monitors the indoor environment, provides security and emergency management, optimizes energy consumption, and analyzes occupant comfort and space utilization. Alquist’s future projects include 3D printed homes in rural communities in Arkansas, California, Iowa, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and others.