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BIG, ICON and Lennar to design "world’s largest neighborhood of 3D printed homes" in Austin

United States Architecture News - Nov 03, 2021 - 11:39   1110 views

BIG, ICON and Lennar to design

Homebuilding company Lennar, Austin-based technology company ICON and Bjarke Ingels Group have revealed plans to build "the world's largest community of 3D-printed homes" by using ICON’s innovative robotics, software and advanced materials.

Set to be built in Austin, Texas, the 100-home community neighborhood will break ground in 2022 and will be codesigned by the acclaimed Danish architecture firm BIG.

The project came after a long collaboration for other projects between BIG and ICON. ICON and Bjarke Ingels Group are also working for a 3D-printed multi-home project in Texas and a new 3D-printed research habitat which will be home to NASA’s crew for future missions on Mars. 

As announced on ICON and BIG's websites, although the plans are designed for a non-confirmed site in Austin, the new neighborhood will be designed by using ICON’s Vulcan construction system - which uses ICON's proprietary Lavacrete blends - can be specific to climate and location. 

BIG, ICON and Lennar to design

The homes will be designed and engineered from the ground up for volume 3D printing of homes with precision and speed to keep the project on schedule and on budget.

Through Vulcan construction system, the system can deliver homes and structures up to 3,000 square feet that are built to the International Building Code (IBC) structural code standard and expected to last as long or longer than standard Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU) built homes. 

This construction system also allows to be used ICON’s proprietary wall system and advanced materials that are stronger and longer-lasting than traditional building materials and provide safer. more resilient homes, withstanding extreme weathers.

"ICON’s 3D printing technology produces resilient, energy-efficient homes faster than conventional construction methods with less waste and more design freedom – keeping construction projects on schedule and on budget," said ICON.

"Additive manufacturing has the potential to revolutionize the built environment as it gets adopted by the industry at scale," said Martin Voelkle, Partner, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group. 

"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."

According to Eric Feder, President of LENX, labor and material shortages are the main driven factors to propose this project as these factors are 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," Feder added.

BIG, ICON and Lennar to design

"ICON exists as a response to the global housing crisis and to put our technology in service to the world," said ICON co-founder and CEO Jason Ballard. 

"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."

"It is an honor and a huge milestone for ICON to partner with Lennar, an elite top-tier homebuilder with a commitment to innovation.  We believe this will be a watershed moment in the history of community-scale development and the future breaking into the present," added Jason Ballard. 

Previously, ICON collaborated with Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) on a new project to start off-world construction system on the moon, funded by NASA, after BIG previously joined the company as a new investor

All images courtesy of ICON / BIG / Lennar.

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