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Cityscape: Volume 25 Number 1 | Housing Technology Projects | 3D Concrete Printed Houses: Barriers to Adoption and Construction Practices


Housing Technology Projects

Volume 25 Number 1

Mark D. Shroder
Michelle P. Matuga

3D Concrete Printed Houses: Barriers to Adoption and Construction Practices

John B. Peavey
Ed Hudson
Zachary A. Summy
Jon Violette
Home Innovation Research Labs

Home Innovation Research Labs (Home Innovation) was tasked by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to explore the integration of 3D concrete printing (3DCP) technology in residential buildings. Most research in this area has focused on standardizing the equipment design, manufacturing process, and material formulation, which is critical to developing design techniques and performance criteria within the building code (Buswell et al., in press). To complement the current 3DCP research, this project investigates two key critical construction issues: (1) identify barriers to the adoption of 3DCP technology (such as the lack of building codes or standards, the lack of design and construction guidance, and the lack of technical expertise to implement the new technology) and (2) system integration—evaluate how 3DCP components (primarily walls) will be installed with conventional building product components. Home Innovation is conducting qualitative research among home builders and contractors to understand the challenges and opportunities to accelerate the adoption of 3DCP technology. In addition, Home Innovation has evaluated the construction of 3DCP residential buildings in the field with close attention to (1) installation of windows and doors, (2) wall penetration methods for installing utilities (primarily plumbing and electrical), (3) wall connections between the roof and foundation, and (4) interior and exterior wall finishing options. The project is in process, and the data presented in this article are preliminary.

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