First 3D-Printed Social Housing Unveiled In France

Researchers in Nantes, France have built the first public housing made from 3D-printed material. Tenants are expected to move into their energy-efficient home in June.

Recently a lot of 3D-printing architecture projects are appearing on the media, but now researchers in France are using the rapid prototyping technique to be the first to build sustainable and affordable housing.

The University of Nantes has completed the first social housing project that was 3D-printed by a robot. Researchers used a technique called YHNOVA BatiPrint3D which prints a double wall from expanding polymere foam that is filled up with concrete afterwards. For insulation purposes the framework then is kept in place. The conventional construction method uses the walls and insulation material the other way around. Printed on site the 95m2 house can be ready for move in in just a few days.

The 3D-printing technology enables architects to design a complex shape with round edges that are more energy-sufficient than straight ones. To be able to further improve the sustainable traits of the house, sensors will measure its temperature, humindity and air quality.

As the city of Nantes is aiming to be a testing ground for innovative technologies, more 3D-printed projects are planned in the area, including a public reception and a social housing estate. This utilization of 3D-printing could be a solution to the housing crisis in cities that especially concerns families with lower income.