Printed homes are coming to a new community in Austin, Texas. Lennar, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, announced it was partnering with the startup ICON to build the largest community of 3D-printed homes to date. The builder says the high-tech construction method will allow it to overcome current labor and materials shortages that have been pressing on the new-home construction industry over recent months.
3D-printed homes are touted as faster to build and less expensive. The community will have 100 homes that are 3D-printed. The project is slated to break ground in 2022.
“Labor and material shortages are two of the biggest factors pushing the dream of homeownership out of reach for many American families,” says Eric Feder, president of LEN(x). “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 public has seemingly already warmed up to the idea of 3D-printed homes. Sixty-six percent of more than 3,000 consumers—and 75% of millennials, in particular—say they’d consider living in a 3D-printed home, according to a survey conducted this summer by realtor.com®.
Lennar says its 3D-printed homes will be as resilient and energy-efficient and will be able to be built faster than conventional construction methods. ICON’s Vulcan construction system can create homes and structures up to 3,000 square feet that are built to code. ICON says that its wall system and materials are strong and longer-lasting than traditional building materials and can withstand extreme weather. It also says its products can be printed at high speeds and at scale.
Jason Ballard, ICON’s co-founder and CEO, called the 3D homes a “watershed moment in the history of community-scale development.”
“ICON exists as a response to the global housing crisis and to put our technology in service to the world,” he says. “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.”