Why We Love The Idea of Printing Buildings


Demo of Behrokh Khoshnevis' building printer techology

A great article in Harvard Design Review telling architects to ::Innovate or Perish:, explaining why new technology like this will be so good for the environment:

Environmentalists will rejoice over printed buildings, since 92% of building waste is now the result of renovation and demolition. Dramatic reductions would be possible because "printed" structures would be almost entirely recyclable, since the diverse materials used would easily be disassembled and auto-sorted much the way trash is today. Additionally, designers will be able to easily perform analysis of finite structural elements, enabling a whole new level of structural comprehension and daring, and wresting a good deal of power from structural engineers.

Best of all for consumers, the duration, amount of material, and cost of a project will be fairly precisely known in advance. Of course, the inevitable curve ball hurled at architects is if (read: when) people themselves design and build their "dream houses" using programs like Google's free 3D modeler SketchUp in conjunction with intrepid 3D-printing contractors, thus ensuring lively design review hearings for some time to come.

The article also talks about forms of housing, and perfectly explains why I like the miniHome so much:

"Today, with Baby Boomers eagerly embracing alternative retirement lifestyles, tremendous growth is once again occurring in the market for mobile dwellings. A University of Michigan study indicates that one in twelve vehicle owners currently possesses an RV, and one in six surveyed intends to buy an RV within five years.49 For increasing numbers, RVs have become a desirable form of temporary or permanent living reinvigorated by wireless voice and data technology, easy financing (complete with second-home tax benefits), significant configurability, integration of premium technologies for home theater, advanced energy management, integration of green elements like biodiesel fuel and solar electricity generation, and, perhaps most appealing, "drop-of-the-hat" mobility surrounded by one's "stuff."

::Harvard Design Magazine

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