In 2018, over the course of a little more than 48 hours, the first permitted 3D-printed home was built in Austin, Texas. The tiny home stood as proof of concept for builders ICON, the company that, with Kansas City–based developers 3Strands, has now completed an entire 3D-printed housing development in the burgeoning neighborhood of East Austin.
Dubbed East 17th Street Residences, the landmark project features four reasonably priced homes with a mash-up of construction methods. The first floor of each is printed using the same technology ICON used to create its first tiny home, a village in Mexico, and a community for the homeless: Atop a concrete slab, the robotic arm of a printer, the Vulcan II, meticulously extrudes layers of a cement-like material called Lavacrete. The results are walls with the texture of meringue, but the strength of mortar.
"[Concrete] is better suited to reduce fire risk, withstand impact damage from windstorms, and doesn’t need to be replaced like drywall after flooding," attests Conner Jenkins, senior project manager at ICON. "Lavacrete is even stronger and longer-lasting than traditional building materials."
The homes’ second levels are finished with more conventional construction methods, relying on metal cladding and timber that contrasts beautifully with the Lavacrete.
The development’s four homes are designed by local firm Logan Architecture, and range in size from two-bedrooms at 925 square feet to four-bedrooms at 1,928 square feet. Each boasts a private yard, covered parking, a contemporary, open floor plan, and interiors designed by Austin-based Claire Zinnecker.
Two of the 3D-printed homes sold earlier this year for around $450,000, while the two larger homes are currently listed at $745k and $795k—numbers that have been determined by the current real estate market in Austin, says ICON.
"The East 17th Street Residences represent the future of homebuilding for the mass market and illustrate what is possible with this technology," says Gary O’Dell, cofounder and CEO of 3Strands. "We cannot wait for people to build their lives in these homes and experience the future of homebuilding firsthand."
More from ICON:
Brokerage: DEN Property Group
Architect of Record: Logan Architecture
Construction / Technology: ICON
Structural Engineer: Fort Structures
Interior Design: Claire Zinnecker
Mechanical Engineering: Positive Energy
Photography: Regan Morton Photography
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