Icon Build and its 3D printing technologies are set to transform the global homelessness problem with its 600 to 800 square foot tiny houses that are printed in under 24 hours for $4000 in underserved communities. The first permitted, 3D-printed tiny house was created specifically for the developing world was unveiled recently in Austin, Texas by New Story, a non-profit working that hopes to create a world where no human lives in survival mode, and ICON, with the newly launched tiny house construction technologies company will lead the way into the future of tiny house homebuilding by using 3D printing to make major advancements in affordability, sustainability, building performance, and customizability.
The 3D-printed tiny homes serve as a proof-of-concept for sustainable tiny house building that will allow for safer, more affordable tiny houses for more families, faster than ever. The 3D printer is called the Vulcan and was designed to work under the constraints that are common in places such as Haiti and rural El Salvador where power sources can be unpredictable, technical assistance space and potable water, not a guarantee. It’s designed to help tackle the housing shortages for vulnerable populations instead of building with profit in mind. They feel it’s their responsibility to challenge traditional building methods and work toward ending homelessness. The linear methods will never reach the billion-plus people who need safe homes, but by working with ICON and leveraging their 3D printing innovations, they can reach more families with the best possible shelter solutions, a lot faster.
Conventional house construction methods have many drawbacks and problems that have been taken for granted for so long that builders have forgotten how to imagine any alternative. However, with 3D printing, you not only have a continuous thermal building envelope, near zero-waste, and high thermal mass, but you also have speed, next-level resiliency, a much broader design palette, and the possibility of a quantum leap in housing affordability. This isn’t 10 percent better, it’s 10 times better. The portable tiny house printer is designed to function with a near zero-waste and to work under many unpredictable constraints to include limited power, water, and labor infrastructure to tackle housing shortages in underserved communities throughout the world. New Story’s goal for this housing project is to print the first community of tiny homes for underserved families in El Salvador in the future, and then through partnerships, they scale up production to serve additional communities over the next few years. The housing will feature cutting-edge building materials that are tested to the most recognized standards of safety, resiliency, and comfort.
More than just New Story using the building technology to reach more families, the hope is that this catalytic R and D project will help to influence the building sector as a whole. Through technology, the team will iterate, learn, and then share the unique technology with other nonprofits and governments to help everyone improve and reach families around the world faster. The high-powered innovators behind the ICON project and the first global initiative with New Story include a cross-section of engineers, designers, environmentalists, and entrepreneurs.
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