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Alquist and Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg Partner to Address Housing Shortage by Building 3D Printed Home in Williamsburg

blueprint for architectural project

Alquist, a 3D printed home construction company, and Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg, today announced they 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. In late July, Alquist will begin construction on the interior and exterior walls.

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.

“As we continue our mission to build more affordable homes for the communities that need them most, Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg is the perfect partner bringing our shared vision to life,” said Zachary Mannheimer, Founder and CEO of Alquist. “Using 3D printing allows us to speed up the construction of a home while also lowering building costs, solving two housing challenges at once: the rising price of new homes and the speed at which they’re built.”

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.  

“Going forward, her monthly mortgage payments will be no more than 30 percent of her income, including her real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance,” said Janet V. Green, CEO for Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg. “Once the house construction is complete, she will close on her new home with a local attorney and repay her no-interest mortgage to us here at the local Habitat, illustrating Habitat for Humanity’s objective to give families a hand up rather than a hand out.” 

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.

“We’ve seen firsthand how Habitat for Humanity’s housing program provides an enhanced quality of life for families,” Green said. “We are so excited to be constructing a 3D home for this family and help them achieve their dream of homeownership.”

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.

High-resolution renderings of the Williamsburg home can be downloaded here. A link to a live feed video of the construction site is coming soon.

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We help as many families as we can, but the lack of decent and affordable housing remains a critical problem in our area. By donating, you will provide upfront funding for building materials and services that makes interest-free loans to Habitat partner families possible. Habitat partner families help to build their own homes - alongside volunteers - and pay an affordable mortgage. Your monetary donations enable us to continue building strength, stability and independence for future local families.