These 3D printed net-zero buildings could be the ‘future of housing’

These homes in California could be the first community built using the technology.

The first neighbourhood of 3D-printed net-zero energy homes is being built in California.

Set to be constructed in Coachella Valley, home to the world-famous music festival, 15 homes are being built using 3D-printing, robotics and automation.

The high tech process produces 10 times less waste than traditional building methods, according to construction technology company, Mighty Buildings.

It claims all of the energy needs for these properties will be provided by solar power. Homeowners will also have the option of installing Tesla Powerwall batteries alongside electric vehicle charging points.

With this ethos of sustainability in mind, the buildings have been designed to have minimal environmental impact.

A rendering of what the properties will look like once built.Mighty Buildings/EYRC Architects
“We could not be more excited for this groundbreaking collaboration with Palari, and to be a part of the creation of the world's first 3D-printed zero net energy community," says Alexey Dubov, Co-Founder and COO of Mighty Buildings.

“This will be the first on-the-ground actualisation of our vision for the future of housing - able to be deployed rapidly, affordably, sustainably, and able to augment surrounding communities with a positive dynamic.”

The homes are 3D printed by construction technology company, Mighty Buildings.Mighty Buildings/EYRC Architects
What’s the problem with conventional construction?

Buildings are estimated to use around 40 per cent of the world’s resources and construction is a major source of waste in most countries. The building and construction sector is also responsible for 39 per cent of all carbon emissions, according to the World Green Building Council.

Making the process of building homes more efficient could have a big impact on the industry’s environmental footprint.

“3D printing allows us to build faster, stronger and more efficiently, making it integral to our platform of streamlining home-building process centred on sustainability of construction, materials, and operations,” says Basil Starr, Founder and CEO of Palari.

Mighty Building's giant 3D printer.Mighty Buildings/EYRC Architects

Using 3D-printing, Mighty Buildings says the process of creating these buildings is “near-zero” waste and can prevent as much as 2000 kg of CO2 emissions per home. It has already installed a few of these houses over the last six months to provide a proof of concept and is now taking orders for developments, like the one set to be built in California.

The technology has been used in the past to create one-off buildings, often with unique architectural designs. Last year construction started on the first 3D-printed apartment building in Germany. It would be Europe’s largest dwelling built using this construction method.

Mighty buildings maintain that this is the first time it has been used to construct an entire neighbourhood.