Eindhoven University of Technology has partnered with Houben & Van Mierlo Aerchitecten to deliver the world’s first habitable 3D printed homes.

This ‘first of its kind’ project will see five 3D-printed houses built in the Bosrijk area of Eindhoven made from concrete. The scheme is being delivered in collaboration with contractor Van Wijnen, the Municipality of Eindhoven, real estate manager Vesteda, materials company Saint Gobain-Weber Beamix and engineering firm Witteveen+Bos.

This innovative industrialised building technique has been customised to create the homes, which have a ‘tongue in cheek’ stone-age design.

The first home, which is due to be ready for occupation in 2019, will be single-storey. The homes will be built consecutively, with the rest being multi-storey, allowing the partners to apply lessons learnt from the previous construction.

The homes will be finished to a high quality with key sustainability goals, for example, the footprint is very compact so that the surrounding landscape can meander through the building volumes as much as possible. Much less concrete is needed and hence much less cement, which reduces the CO2 emissions originating from cement production.

The elements to create the first home will be printed at the university, with the intention to move the entire construction to site as the development progresses.

3D-printing of concrete has been mooted as a game changer in the building industry, allowing the construction of almost any shape, in all kinds, qualities and colours of concrete, all in a single product. This enables the integration of various functions into one building element, with the additional benefit of bespoke designs.