ICON to build largest 3D printed community of 100 homes co-designed by BIG
Oct 27, 2021
austin-based construction technologies company ICON partners with leading home builder lennar, to introduce the world’s largest community of 3D printed homes. the development’s 100 homes will be constructed with ICON’s innovative robotics, software, and materials and will be designed together with bjarke ingels group / BIG. the team announces that the project will break ground in 2022 and that the undertaking will mark a promising step toward delivering affordable homes that meet rising demand.
eric feder, president of LEN X comments on the goals of the ambitious project, and its relationship with the ongoing housing shortage: ‘labor and material shortages are two of the biggest factors pushing the dream of home ownership out of reach for many american families. lennar has always expanded the boundaries of technological innovation to keep quality homes affordable and 3D printing is an immensely encouraging approach. we are excited to collaborate with ICON to develop solutions to emerging challenges in the coming years.’
the team at ICON notes that its large-scale 3D printing system — dubbed the ‘vulcan’ construction system — builds homes that are resilient and energy-efficient. further, the process of construction is faster than conventional methods and benefits from less waste and more design freedom.
with the help of the homebuilders at lennar, the structures are designed and engineered to be efficiently printed with the the vulcan construction system, which can build homes up to 3,000 square feet. ICON builds its homes to the international building code (IBC) structural code standard, and expects them to last as long or longer than conventional dwellings build of standard concrete masonry unit (CMU) — withstanding extreme weather to greatly reduce the impact of natural disasters.
ICON co-founder and CEO jason ballard comments: ‘ICON exists as a response to the global housing crisis and to put our technology in service to the world. construction-scale 3D printing not only delivers higher-quality homes faster and more affordably, but fleets of printers can change the way that entire communities are built for the better.
‘the united states faces a deficit of approximately 5 million new homes, so there is a profound need to swiftly increase supply without compromising quality, beauty, or sustainability and that is exactly the strength of our technology.‘
martin voelkle, partner at bjarke ingels group / BIG continues: ‘additive manufacturing has the potential to revolutionize the built environment as it gets adopted by the industry at scale. by partnering with ICON and lennar, we are able to see this new technology roll out to the widest possible audience.
‘the 3D printed architecture and the photovoltaic roofs are innovations that are significant steps towards reducing waste in the construction process, as well as towards making our homes more resilient, sustainable, and energy self-sufficient.’