World Housing and Twente Additive Manufacturing (TAM) collaborated with other companies in British Columbia, Canada, to construct a 3D-printed affordable community. The project will be located in Nelson, B.C., where there is a great need for housing and the support needed from the local community and government. It is also the hometown for TAM.
TAM and World Housing are creating long-term sustainable changes to address the growing homeless issue in Canada and in many other Western countries. They will prove their design concept in Nelson. The companies will branch out to other communities across Canada once their concept is proven.
The benefit of 3D printing technology is the ability for printers to build onsite in remote areas where traditional construction techniques are prohibitive. The secondary goal of this first project is to showcase the unique capabilities and potential of 3D printing technology as an alternative to traditional construction methods. The potential to print less expensively, more efficiently, and with less waste are key benefits that accrue as the technology is advanced. This development will also provide the important benefit of on-site construction for future affordable housing in remote indigenous communities.
World Housing and TAM built a consortium of local expertise to bring the project to life. One of Nelson’s leading civil engineering firms, Effistruc Consulting Ltd., has developed a reputation as the go-to firm for unique structures. Effistruc built the first 3D-printed home in Canada to be approved under a provincial building code.
Alterativ Design built on Effistruc’s success in cooperation with TAM to create the design for a unique and purpose-designed multi family compound. This design for the nation’s first 3D-printed affordable village was chosen as a great fit for Nelson’s topography. Alterativ will be an integral part of the design development team for World Housing’s future 3D printed home projects.
The construction technology used to construct 3D printed homes still needs the finishing work for the roof, windows, doors and connection to services. World Housing will entrust the finishing construction of the proposed 3D-printed multi family dwelling to one of Nelson’s most trusted builders: Red Dog Construction. With many years of experience in erecting structures of all types, including for CMHC-funded housing buildings, the Red Dog team is suited to oversee this unique project.
Twente Additive Manufacturing has already begun a joint research project with the University of British Columbia. Cristina Zanotti, Ph.D., of the UBC Civil Engineering Department is working alongside the TAM team and one of UBC’s Mechatronics Students, Parsa Khodabakhshi.