French family are the first to live in 3D printed home

The Ramdanis, a family living in Nantes, France, have become the first people in the world to move into an entirely 3D-printed home. The single storey, four-bedroom home, which took only 54 hours to print, is a prototype for bigger projects that could make house building much easier, quicker and cheaper.

The property is 95m (1022ft) square with curved walls in a Y-shape that are designed to reduce humidity and with digital controls for disabled people. Almost everything in the house can be controlled from a smart phone. Builders took only four months to add the windows, doors, roof and any extras needed.  The cost of approximately £176,000 makes it 20% cheaper than using more traditional solutions meaning this could have a real effect on the house building industry.

The same team that built the 3D-printed home now believe that they could print the same house again in just 33 hours.

Nouria and Nordine Ramdani, along with their three children, have been the lucky ones chosen to live in the spacious four bedroom house with a large family living room and outdoor space.

Nordine said it was ‘a big honour’ to be a part of the project that involved collaboration by the City Council, local housing association and University of Nantes. She said: “We lived in a block of council flats from the 60s, so it’s a big change for us. It’s really something amazing to be able to live in a place where there is a garden, and to have a detached house.”

The modern property has been partly funded by the council and built in a deprived neighbourhood.

How does it work?

A team of scientists and architects design the house in a studio and then programme everything into a large 3D BatiPrint robot ‘printer’. The printer is then brought to the site of the new home ready to begin. Everything works in a similar way to printing smaller items, but on a larger scale, using layers that print from the floor upwards. Each wall consists of two layers of industrial insular polyurethane later filled with cement so the properties built are always sturdy. Afterwards, the windows, doors and roof are added. This leaves you with a shell to then plaster and decorate as you wish.

The house is environmentally friendly with no waste and allows architects to be even more creative with the shapes of houses they can build.

Benoit Furet, who heads up the project at University of Nantes, was the brains behind the idea. Benoit thinks that in five years the construction cost of such houses can be reduced by 25% while adhering to building regulations, and by 40% in 10 to 15 years. He has a vision to create a whole neighbourhood of 18 houses with the same building principles, in Paris. It could be another great way for people to get on to the property ladder whilst also getting a modern, environmentally friendly home.

Five 3D-printed commercially available houses are planned to be built in Eindhoven in the Netherlands in 2019, so 3D neighbourhoods could soon be taking the UK by storm! If it is something that you would like to consider, make sure you have all the appropriate building regulations and surveys taken out beforehand to avoid costly errors.

Contact Property Surveying to get in touch with your local independent qualified Chartered Surveyor.


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