Habitat for Humanity builds its first 3D-printed home in Arizona

The recently completed, custom, single-story home, combines 3D printed concrete along with traditional construction to create an innovative model for the future: a scalable, cost-effective homeownership solution to address the affordable housing crisis facing communities nationwide.

“This was really a moonshot opportunity for Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona,” said Jason Barlow, President and CEO of Habitat Central Arizona. “When we consider the housing issues facing Arizona, the need for affordable homeownership solutions becomes clear. If we can deliver decent, affordable, more energy-efficient homes at less cost, in less time and with less waste, we think that could be a real game-changer. Think of the implications.”

Designed by the world-renowned team at Candelaria Design, the new 3D-printed home project is a single-family home with three bedrooms, and two baths. The livable space is 1,738 square feet, and the total project is 2,433 square feet. 70 – 80% of the home is 3D printed, including all internal and external walls. The remainder of the house is a traditional build.

Habitat believes everyone needs a place to call home. In the face of an acute affordable housing shortage, Habitat is looking for scalable, affordable homeownership solutions – a game changer. The lack of affordable housing in the Phoenix metro is at an all-time high and Habitat continues to explore innovative ways to address the critical issue.

‘Bringing people together’ is central to our mission and in this case, we’re bringing together new partners in the form of engineers, architects, developers and others looking for a breakthrough in the affordable housing space. Habitat is trying something new by printing a home using a Build on Demand Printer (BOD 2)

This could mean everything to Arizona families who are spending more than 50% of their income on their current shelter situation. 

 

When it comes to this house, the medium is the message. Like Habitat for Humanity, this house has many layers. Each built on top of the other until a stable framework is achieved. Like every other challenge, it’s going to take creativity and collaboration to get out of this acute housing shortage and affordability crisis. That’s what this home has come to mean for us as a community. It marks a time when the world equated staying at home with staying safe and healthy – we knew we had to think differently.

It’s incredible, and absolutely fitting, to see this kind of innovation come from the non-profit sector. Afterall, we are trying to tackle one of the Arizona’s most pressing issues – Home affordability. How great is it that this home could bring some attention to the affordability gap so many in our community are experiencing, as well as spotlight a new and emerging technology.  Once again, the medium is the message.

The idea of having a decent, affordable place to call home isn’t simply an American dream. It’s a universal dream and one that we focus on daily and, with your support, strive to make available to as many Arizona families as possible.  

 

  • Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona is building its first 3D-printed home in Tempe.
  • This is a single-family home built on a lot purchased from the City of Tempe.
  • A majority of the home was 3D printed.
  • Habitat and Tempe see this as a possible solution to the lack of affordable housing.

Habitat thanks its many supporters who have made this incredible project possible – Thank You! 

Habitat has amazing partners and support along the way

“This kind of innovation does not happen without amazing partners and we are extremely grateful to all of them,” Barlow said. “Bringing people together is central to our mission and in this case, we’re bringing together new partners in the form of engineers, architects, developers and others looking for a breakthrough in the affordable housing space.”

Habitat Central Arizona and the City of Tempe have been partners for more than 30 years. Current work includes building the 3D-printed home, at 677 W. 19th St., and building 15 traditional homes on four city lots. 

 “Tempe is known for innovation and this ground-breaking project aligns perfectly with our goal to identify new solutions that accelerate the growth of affordable and workforce housing in our city,” said Tempe Mayor Corey Woods. “Working with valued partners, we want to ensure that everyone who wants to live in Tempe can do so. Beyond our city borders, this project can serve as a model for other communities as we all work to meet the critical needs of families who truly are the faces of this growing housing affordability crisis.”

Germany-based PERI shipped its 3D printer to the U.S. in March. It was then transported to Arizona in April and printing began in Tempe in May.

“Our PERI 3D construction printing team is incredibly proud to print this home in Tempe for Habitat for Humanity,” said Thomas Imbacher, managing director innovation and marketing of the PERI Group. “Since 2016, PERI has been working intensively on the development of 3D construction printing solutions for residential construction. In 2020, PERI realized the first ever 3D-printed house in Germany with a BOD2 printer, followed shortly afterwards by the largest 3D-printed apartment building in Europe to date. The 3D-printing project in Tempe is now continuing this success story in the USA.”

How it works

PERI’s BOD2 printer is a gantry printer and the only second-generation construction printer on the market. The gantry system is configured from multiple 2.5m modules in length, width and height.

The BOD2 works in three dimensions: The print head moves right and left along the X- axis, the X-axis moves forward and backward along the Y-axis, and the entire XY group moves up and down along the Z-columns. Thanks to this gantry principle, the printer can move to any position within the structure, pulling up both inner and outer walls layer by layer. Watch a video of the printing process here.

The 3D construction printer is certified to allow workers to remain in the print area during the printing process. This means manual work, such as laying empty conduits and connections, can be easily integrated into the printing process. A control unit allows workers to operate the BOD2 either via a web interface or touch screen.

Once the walls of a building are printed, the ceilings can be integrated. These are then built in the more traditional way.

In addition to the Co-Presenting Sponsors, Cox and Lowe’s, many partners came together to make this happen including: Habitat for Humanity International, City of Tempe, PERI, 3D Construction, Candelaria Design, and The Ramsey Social Justice Foundation

It takes a lot of good people

In addition to our Visionary Partners and our Co-Presenting Sponsors, Habitat would also like to thank the following:

Alliance Residential
AMW Construction Supply, LLC
Bay Alarm and Security
Brewer Plumbing
Chas Roberts Air Conditioning Inc
Desert Wind Drywall LLC
EI Companies
Encore Steel
GEN-TECH
Gerber
HenWood Design
Hinkley Lighting
Home Depot
Mobile Mini
Moen Faucet Company
On Track
PH Structural
Prisma Graphic Corporation
Puckett’s Flooring Company
Striking Stone
Sunstate Equipment Co.
Suntria
XO Windows LLC
Younger Brothers Construction
Zurn Pex