Dezeen Magazine

ICON builds 3D-printed houses from disaster-proof concrete in Texas

Developer 3Strands and construction technology company ICON have built four 3D-printed houses in Austin, Texas, from concrete that's designed to cope with extreme weather.

Named East 17th Street Residences, the houses are made from ICON's Portland cement-based material Lavacrete.

The Vulcan by ICON
The Vulcan is ICON's own 3D-printer

Lavacrete is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions and is also mould-resistant.

"ICON's proven 3D-printing technology provides safer, more resilient homes that are designed to withstand fire, flood, wind and other natural disasters better than conventionally built homes," the company told Dezeen.

In 2019, ICON produced seven houses at Community First! Village in Austin to provide for those who were formerly homeless. The houses were unharmed during Texas' particularly harsh storms at the start of this year.

The houses are built from disaster-proof concrete
The homes are in East Austin

East 17th Street Residences were printed from Lavacrete using the company's own 3D-printer, The Vulcan, named for the Roman god of fire and volcanoes.

Varying from two to four bedrooms each, the four houses were designed by Logan Architecture for developer 3Strands.

3D-printing has now finished, and the homes are currently being fitted to be ready for residents to move in this summer.

One of four houses by ICON
Lavacrete is used for its durability

It took five to seven days to print each house. ICON claims that The Vulcan can print Lavacrete more accurately and at a higher speed than manual labour so that the houses are cost-effective and well-built.

Situated in the East Austin neighbourhood, each house has large North-facing windows with vaulted master bedrooms and open floor plans.

3Strands developed the Austin houses
Each house has North-facing windows

The spacious properties also include covered front porches and parking, as well as front gardens.

Due to their well-insulated walls and central heating, the houses have high levels of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning performance.

Austin-based designer Claire Zinnecker is leading on the interior design of each property, which will include neutral and minimalist design features including natural wood and earthy-coloured tiles.

Austin-based designer Claire Zinnecker designed each house's neutral interiors
Minimal interior design by Claire Zinnecker

3strands is a real estate developer based in Kansas City, and Logan Architecture is an Austin-based design firm founded in 2015.

ICON has also completed a series of 3D-printed homes in Tabasco, Mexico. The company partnered with charity New Story in order to build 500 square-foot (47 square-metre) houses for families in need of shelter.

This community of homes withstood a 7.4 magnitude earthquake in June 2020 with no visible damage.

The Texan construction technology company is collaborating with BIG on a robotic construction project for the Moon.

Images are courtesy of ICON.

More images

Constructing the houses
Constructing the houses
Constructing the interior of the houses