Dezeen Magazine

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Construction commences on BIG and ICON's community of 3D-printed homes in Texas

Construction is underway on a community of 100 3D-printed homes in Texas co-designed by Danish architecture studio BIG and American construction technology company ICON.

Sited in Georgetown – a municipality outside of Austin – the project aims to be the largest community in the world built using 3D printing technology.

Icon Big 3d printed community construction image aerial
BIG and ICON have designed 100 3D-printed homes for a community in Texas

Nicknamed Wolf Ranch, the community will feature homes co-designed by ICON and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) that come in eight different floorplans with layouts that range from 1,574 to 2,112 square feet (146 to 196 square metres).

Construction company Lennar is using ICON's Vulcan robotic construction system to print the structural elements of the homes.

"Homes that are better in every way"

The machines use a proprietary concrete developed by ICON called Lavacrete, which, according to the company is a "extremely durable building material" that can be printed at high speeds.

According to ICON, robotics allows the walls to be "produced with less waste and with more design freedom".

"For the first time in the history of the world, what we’re witnessing here is a fleet of robots building an entire community of homes," said ICON co-founder Jason Ballard. "And not just any homes, homes that are better in every way."

"In the future, I believe robots and drones will build entire neighborhoods, towns, and cities, and we'll look back at Lennar's Wolf Ranch community as the place where robotic construction at scale began," he continued.

3D printed home in construction with worker
The homes are being built using ICON's Vulcan system

The homes will be double-height, with the walls printed by the Vulcan machines, as well as some of the furniture.

On top of the homes will be gabled roofing structures clad in metal and topped with photovoltaic panels, according to the team.

Development will contain Texan ranch-style homes

BIG and ICON designed the home to resemble traditional Texan ranch-style homes.

"Blending contemporary Texas ranch-style aesthetics, the community of 3D-printed homes features elevated architectural and energy-efficient designs that highlight the benefits of resiliency and sustainability with the digital possibilities of additive construction," said the team.

Inside, the material palette will feature the grooved concrete of the Lavacrete on the walls and polished concrete flooring.

The plan for the neighbourhood resembles that of a traditional American suburban layout with driveways, yards and streets connecting the homes.

Ranging from three to four bedrooms, the homes will be priced beginning in the mid $400,000 range and be available for purchase in 2023.

Other 3D-printed residential projects in the United States include the first two-storey 3D-printed home designed by Hannah in Ithaca, New York and 3D-printed homes in California that construction company Mighty Builders claims are the world's first to achieve net zero.

The photography is courtesy of ICON.

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