Over the years, 3D printing technology has come a long way. You can 3D print just about anything in today’s world including food, body parts, and even houses. That raises the question, are 3D printed homes safe for the environment?
Construction of residential housing is costly and leaves quite a carbon footprint behind. On top of emissions, they also leave a large amount of waste in their wake. The typical 2,000 square foot house leaves behind 8,000 pounds of waste.
Not only does construction leave behind large piles of physical waste, but the construction process also releases Particulate Matter (PM2.5) into the air. These small particles can find their way into the human lungs and cause respiratory disease.
However, 3D printed homes can actually avoid all of this at a much lower cost.
Do 3D Printed Homes Currently Exist?
While it may be hard to believe, 3D houses are already available in some states in the US. In fact, just last month, a 3D-printed home was put up for sale in New York for $299,000.
That’s about 50% of the price of similarly sized homes in that area.
And it’s not just in the United States, either. Mexico is building entire neighborhoods using a portable 3D printer that can build a small house in 24 hours. The concept of 3D printed homes is becoming increasingly popular around the world.
These houses are cheaper and can be built quicker than traditional homes.
What Are the Homes Made Out Of?
This is where things get a bit complicated. There are multiple companies that deal with 3D printed homes and they all tend to use their own material of choice. In some cases, these houses are built out of concrete.
Others might be built with a special mixture containing concrete.
However, these 3D prints can use just about anything if they can meet building standards. For instance, there are actually 3D printed homes that are built using hemp.
That’s right, a plant-based home.
Thus, as the technology advances, homes can be built using more sustainable materials.
The real factor is how long these houses will last. If they are built with concrete, there is no reason they won’t last as long, if not longer than traditional homes. In fact, they are more fire-resistant, which should make them even more attractive.
Cheaper and Better For the Environment
If it isn’t clear yet, 3D printed homes are great for the environment and they are cheaper to build. Traditional homes leave behind thousands of pounds of waste, whereas 3D homes leave none or very little by comparison.
This means less materials are necessary, and that means less emissions.
The homes are more fire-resistant than traditional homes because they do not use wood. Thus, fires will not spread easily, which can help prevent forest fires.
And probably most importantly, they are very cheap to build. This factor alone will most likely lead to the widespread adoption of 3D printing technology in the construction field in the future.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.