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Houston's First 3-D Printed Home

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"The couple handled the design and project planning of this new 3D-printed house and worked with Houston-based PERI 3D Construction to develop the printing program. Another Houston-based firm, CIVE, handled the engineering and general contractor duties."





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That's interesting, I'm going to drive to Emnora lane to see it.

As the article notes, it remains to be seen if 3-D printing will become viable for new home construction. But I'm glad to see some new technology being tried. The basics of home construction have changed very little in a very long time (100 years or more). Other countries make more use of prefabricated components to reduce cost and improve quality. Many third-world countries have higher standards for home construction (more concrete-based) than the United States.


The site is on Emnora Street about 0.5 mile east of Beltway 8 (Sam Houston Tollway), on the southwest corner at Shadowdale. Emnora connects to the BW 8 frontage road. The neighborhood appears to lack deed restrictions, since some properties have fenced front yards and parking in the front yard. The lot is about 8000 square feet.

The banner on the fence proclaims this to be the first two-floor printed house in the United States, and lists numerous sponsors.

Unfortunately I forgot my phone and camera when I drove by. The house construction extends almost to the rear edge of the property, leaving almost no back yard. There are four towers to support the frame with the printing "head". Each of these towers has a concrete pad. There are two more unused pads toward the front of the property, presumably for when the front half of the house is built.

There is a scaffold structure on the front (street) side of the current construction zone, presumably for a good view of the work zone and the machine, maybe for directing the concrete supply. There is also a small concrete mixer on site, and numerous large packages of quick-crete.

The number of hours of concrete printing (220) seems large. As the photos suggest, it all looks like it came out of a caulk gun. In my opinion, this is going to be less attractive than a traditional brick facade.

My conclusion it that 3D home printing is unlikely to be the wave of the future. Even it it can be industrialized and made economical, it will still be less attractive than a brick home.

Edited by MaxConcrete
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"CIVE is meeting next week with developers looking to assess whether the technology could be used in multifamily home construction"


Edited by DotCom
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I drive past the home site occasionally. A few months ago it looked like all the concrete work was done, which includes a tall chimney. I noticed some apparent cracks in the front sections of concrete, and some kind of orange foam filler filling small gaps within the concrete sections. All the major equipment was removed from the site, including the towers and gantry for the concrete "print head". The next phase of work would be everything else (beyond concrete work), including the second floor, construction between the concrete sections (which are the sections with windows in the depiction), and the interior.

I drove past the site today. No work has been done since my visit a few months ago - it's still just the four or five concrete sections with empty space between them. The site is still fenced, but the entrance gate is knocked over so anyone can walk in. I'm inclined to think the site is inactive or abandoned, otherwise the gate would be fixed.

I have no information about the actual status, but work appears to be suspended since sometime in the second half of 2023.

Problems can be expected when doing something for the first time. Perhaps there were problems which are a show-stopper for continuing the construction. (Maybe the cracks? Maybe being much more expensive and labor-intensive than expected?)

I won't be surprised if this project is not finished. If it is not finished, the completed concrete will eventually need to be demolished.

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Highly anticipated Houston 3D-printed home sits ominous and unfinished

But this is "definitely not a financial issue," said Dr. Hikmat Zerbe, the head of structural engineering for CIVE. "Technically everything is perfect. It is purely a nontechnical issue," he says when asked why the work stopped. "It was stopped by choice and it will continue soon," he added.

While Zerbe declined to give a specific timeline, he told Chron that movement on the project should restart "very soon". According to Zerbe, the privately-funded project was paused due to personal issues from the client, which he confirmed was the architectural firm HANNAH. Zerbe said that the project is gearing up for its next phase: wood framing, building interior partitions, and architectural finishes


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