There are a lot of people who still say that they don't innovate in China, but when it comes to construction technology they really are putting a lot of other countries to shame. Here is another player: The Zhouda Group, with its Chinese launch of what everyone is calling a "mysterious" 3D printed modular house. There really isn't a lot of information about it, other than this model home was assembled in three hours. There also isn't much evidence to indicate that they are in fact 3D printed at all; Watching the video here just shows them being made of some very strong panel that they throw bags of sand at. (It starts after about six commercials).
It appears to be a steel framed module with an infill wall panel made from a magical material:
...sourced from industrial and agricultural wastes and are capable of withstanding earthquakes with a magnitude of 9.0 and are also fireproof and waterproof. This new material contains no formaldehyde, ammonia, radon and other harmful substances. While the company is touting their materials as being capable of withstanding the elements, they are also saying that the material can be made to meet a variety of aesthetic qualities desired by the homeowner including jade, marble, wood, granite and other decorative sheet textures. Adventurous health-conscious home owners even have the option to have Chinese herbs embedded within the walls for ‘built-in aromatherapy’.
A Google patent search shows up a couple of Zhuoda patents related to prefabricated housing, but they are from 2008 and so not appear to be the same thing, or the google translation is so poor that I am not understanding it properly.
The modules weigh 100 kg per m2 (20.43 lbs/SF) and cost 3,500 RMB/square meter (US$ 52.39 PSF) which makes them light and cheap. The company expects to have the capacity to churn out two billion square meters of housing per year by 2016. That works out to roughly twelve million 1800 square foot houses. Given that these look to be roughly the size of shipping containers, that works out to 134.5 million TEU of housing modules. If these are in fact container sized, then they can be shipped economically to just about anywhere.
Unless there is a typo in the source, that is a serious amount of housing. The company has been around since 1993 and is no slouch in the real estate development business.
Fortunately the furnishings are not part of the prefab package. More photos on 3Ders.org And here is a Russian video uploaded by Zhuoda that's more tastefully decorated.
And if you speak Russian, a tour of the model home they built there for a show in April.