By Kaden Pradhan
London, United Kingdom
The first ever owner-occupied 3D-printed home in the world, built by the nonprofit organization Habitat for Humanity, was unveiled in Williamsburg, VA, just a few days before Christmas last year.
The building, which took just twenty-eight hours to print and twelve hours to construct, was dedicated on December 21st, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony that has become a national milestone of innovation, enterprise, and charity.
April Stringfield moved in with her thirteen-year-old son in time for the festive season. “My son and I are so thankful. I always wanted to be a homeowner,” she said, struggling to hold back tears. “It’s like a dream come true.”
Stringfield purchased the house via the Habitat Homebuyer Program. In order to be eligible, homeseekers must perform 300 hours of volunteer work. For Stringfield, part of this work was spent helping the construction crew on her future house.
The Program is also dedicated to providing affordable housing for all. Janet V. Green, CEO of Habitat for Humanity’s local branch, stated: “Many people think we give Habitat homes away; we don’t, we sell homes to families with low to moderate incomes.” To be eligible, Habitat home-buyers must also have an excellent credit score. A zero-interest, zero-profit mortgage lasting twenty to thirty years is on the house, which buyers pay back gradually over time.
This pioneering, sustainable 1200-square-foot house contains three bedrooms and two baths. Alquist, a firm specializing in 3D-printing, produced all the printed elements, which make up roughly 70-80% of the actual building. This saved around 15% in construction costs per square foot. The materials used retain heat better, which saves on radiator and air-conditioning costs, as well as being robustly tornado- and hurricane-resistant. The home will also be fitted with solar panels, and have its own 3D-printer so Stringfield can easily produce replacement parts for things like doorknobs and light-switch covers.
More of Alquist’s 3D-printed homes are already in the works, including one in Richmond, VA, in order to better understand the future of competitive housing options.
“I’m excited to make new memories in Williamsburg and especially in a house…” Stringfield, now a proud homeowner, said. “Some place I can call home and to give my son that backyard that he can play in and also my puppy to run around the yard.”
“This is all for my son,” she added. “If you truly believe in something, keep trying and you can do it.”