No, that is not possible. The first Milestone home is part of a series of 5 homes. We have gained a lot of insights during the realization of this house. That is why we have set ourselves the goal of having a product for the market after the fifth home has been completed. So that the most important technical bottlenecks have been tackled. For that reason, the house as it now stands in Eindhoven will not be realized outside the Milestone project.
But that does not mean that we cannot help you. The 3D concrete printing technique is now used in various construction projects. Weber Beamix is open to commercial assignments in their 3D concrete printing factory. Would you like to have more information about the possibilities? Please contact Gian Sterken. You can reach him by telephone via: 0031 620 044 363 or by mail: Gian.Sterken@weberbeamix.nl.
We are proud that we succeeded in achieving what we set out to do: an actual 3D-printed concrete home which complies with all regulations and demonstrates what is possible with this new technique at a glance.
Looking back, we will be taking away the following lessons in particular when it comes to the development of the next houses. In order to contribute to a solution to the housing shortage, things must be faster and cheaper.
In Project Milestone, the project partners want to contribute to the realization of a new construction method which can make a substantial contribution to solving an urgent societal problem: the housing shortage. To this end, affordable, sustainable and rapidly attainable housing is needed. The learning points below, among others, should help ensure that the innovation we realize with the next homes within Project Milestone will bring us closer to this goal.
The technique’s freedom of form has been greatly increased. This must be a guiding principle in the design.
In order to drive innovation, the project partners deliberately chose a bold design which sets the bar high. At the time of the design, there was no certainty that it would prove possible to realize this exactly as it stood on paper – the knowledge and technology to do so was still under development. The partners succeeded in developing science-based models with which they can now print a very wide array of shapes that were not possible before. The original design of this first house turned out to not fall within this range in terms of the details. In practice, this led to compromises in execution. The newly-acquired knowledge on the shape possibilities of 3D concrete printing is the basis for the design of the next four houses, which offers a guarantee that the design can actually be realized without compromises.
Important steps have been taken in terms of technique; we are now also looking at organization and processes.
In Project Milestone, six different parties joined forces to realize an innovation that comes as close as possible to real-world application. For all parties, this type of project was new and required an approach that went off the beaten track in terms of organization and processes: new tasks, roles, product components and process steps as required by this new method, as well as consultation and decision structures. A lot has also been learned in this area that will be taken into account in the realization of the next homes.
Transportation must be examined closely.
Transporting the meter-high printed elements from the printing hall to the construction site was quite a feat. The elements consist of several sheets connected to one another and are irregular in shape, which makes lifting and moving them a challenge. Despite all the precautions and expertise at the special transport company, some minor damage occurred during transport, via a low loader with a crane. The project partners will look into ways to minimize the risks of transport damage as well as the transport costs and time taken. The aim is to print the final Project Milestone home entirely on the construction site itself in order to investigate whether this option works better on balance. Indeed, on-site printing has other challenges, especially due to the major influence of the weather on the curing of the concrete.
Several projects on the development of 3D-printed concrete are underway worldwide, which is indicative of the great potential of this technique. These projects each have their own approach and focus on different aspects of the developments needed to make 3D-printed concrete widely applicable.
There are two specific projects that have recently gathered attention. One of these is Kamp C at the Provincial Center for Sustainability and Innovation in Westerlo, Belgium. Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix, one of the project partners of Project Milestone, is taking part in that project. This has already enabled the builders of Kamp C to take onboard the knowledge gained in Eindhoven. In Germany, the company PERI is currently building a 3D-printed home made of concrete.
What sets Project Milestone apart from the aforementioned projects is its exploration and expansion of the freedom of form that 3D concrete printing offers. You can see this in the sloping and overhanging walls and in the playful, unconventional floorplan, among other things. Additionally, the printed concrete of the Eindhoven house is truly load-bearing; there is no separate support structure in the house.
Furthermore, the elements of Project Milestone were printed in a printing plant and then brought to the construction site. The quality of the concrete can therefore be better controlled because there are less weather effects. In terms of logistics, however, this is less practical than printing at the construction site, as happened in the German and Belgian projects.
What Project Milestone has in common with the German PERI project is that they are both really made for residential occupation. They each comply with strict building regulations, have building permits and actually have occupants coming in.
3D concrete printing potentially offers many advantages, including: Virtually any shape is possible, whereas traditional concrete (which is made using formwork) mostly results in rough shapes. * It can be done faster because certain steps are no longer necessary. Reinforcement does not have to be woven because the reinforcement can be printed along with the construction. There is no need to create formwork and break it down again later. No openings need to be drilled; they can be created in the printing process. And in the future, even more functionalities can possibly be included in the printing process, such as color, water resistance, etc. * It can be more sustainable because the printer lays concrete only where this is structurally necessary. Traditional concrete is solid and thus requires more cement, which indirectly leads to more emissions because cement production releases a lot of CO2. * Less need for heavy construction workers for concrete braiding, concrete pouring and vibration, for example. * This is computer-controlled and robotized. In principle, production can therefore be done 24 hours a day, which can increase the production of homes. * More flexibility. Changes can be made until the last minute and a personalized home design does not lead to much higher production costs.
For the next four homes, options for printing floors and roofs will be looked at, among other things. Furthermore, efforts will be made to achieve more and more functionality in the printing process so that the construction process can become faster and easier.
The aim is to eventually arrive at a level of pricing that is equal to or lower than that of traditional construction. However, development has not yet reached that point. One of the main points of attention for the next homes is to develop methods and techniques that bring this closer.
Vesteda, the owner, wants to give more people the chance to live in the property and is therefore offering six-month contracts with a rental price of 850 euros per month. This is a low price for a detached house in green surroundings. Interested parties can apply through Vesteda.
The home meets all of the structural requirements that a home must meet. This has been extensively investigated and taken into account in the granting of the building permit.
Given the quality of the materials, we expect a normal lifespan of well over 50 years.
With an energy performance coefficient of 0.25, the home is very energy efficient. There is still room for improvement in the use of materials; the expectation is that the amount of concrete required for the next homes can be further reduced. This will lead to a lower CO2 footprint.
We can’t give an exact date yet. We learned a lot from house 1, but we will have to learn new things again at the following homes, such as building multiple floors.
Given the rapid developments, the expectation is that printed homes will no longer be considered exceptional in ten years’ time.
No, that is not possible.
It concerns the world’s first 3D-printed houses that are fit for habitation. These are buildings with an unusual design, which are created using a new production process, meet all statutory building requirements and offer all the comfort that today’s homeowners expect.
Vesteda will buy the homes. Other participants in the Milestone Project are parties that are also part of the research consortium of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). For this project, the participants are TU/e, Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix, Witteveen+Bos and Van Wijnen. The local authority participates in the project by making the land available and offering procedural support to facilitate the creation of this innovative product.
Yes, it concerns the world’s first printed concrete houses fit for habitation, which means they fulfil the criteria of the Dutch building code (Bouwbesluit).
The projects taking place in Europe are all demonstration cases that don’t result in houses fit for habitation. Chinese company Winstar has built a number of large projects using 3D printing in which 3D printing technology was used to produce prefabricated elements. When you look at the finished buildings, there is no way to tell they were created using 3D printing. The 3D Printed Canal House project in Amsterdam that was announced a few years ago has not resulted in a building fit for habitation.
The building industry and society. It is a way of giving substance to corporate social responsibility. The entire process, from development to construction, is digitized, which offers a number of advantages – everything is recorded, no knowledge is lost, it optimizes the use of materials, helps to improve working conditions etc. The local authority hopes that using this new technology will create more affordable, sustainable and demand-oriented housing.
The second and third home is expected to be completed in spring of 2022.
After the realization of the first house, the knowledge will also be distributed to other countries.
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Vesteda will buy the homes and the land. The homes will become part of Vesteda’s housing portfolio. Vesteda invests funds from institutional investors including pension funds and insurance companies.
Subsidies have been applied for; the development of this innovation is definitely eligible for subsidisation.
The land price is in line with the market standard, the house meets all statutory requirements, the local authority is closely involved to ensure the All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects (Omgevingsvergunning) can be issued correctly and on time.
By a partnership of TU/e, Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix and Van Wijnen.
The concrete, with a composition specially developed for this purpose, is deposited in the required place by a robot, without the need for formwork or steel fixers. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tu+eindhoven+%2B+concrete+printing
Production rate/lead time of construction can become much shorter as automation progresses. Democratisation of the manufacturing industry. The immense freedom of form will promote creativity and client/user participation (mass customisation/tailor-made industrial solutions); any changes that are required can be implemented simply by pushing a few buttons. Leads to co-creation with the end user, who will take on a far more central role. Sustainability: smaller raw material footprint (no formwork needed). 7% of global CO2 emissions originate from the concrete industry. Sustainability gains are possible. The printer uses no more concrete than is needed for the project and applies it extremely accurately, thereby reducing the amount of residue. The digital process reduces the failure costs enormously.
The technology is still under development, which means each project involves a learning curve. The more projects take place, the more lessons can be drawn. Because the technology is still under development, there will be a degree of unpredictability in terms of scheduling and results. For that reason, the right parties need to be involved from the outset. The specialists in this project are TU/e, Witteveen+Bos, Van Wijnen and Weber – parties that will ensure the rapid development of the technology.
The elements are prefabricated in the printing facility and joined together on the building site. From the first home to the fifth, the prefabrication process will be taken further in stages, with the ambition of printing the final home entirely on-site.
The rate of production could be increased enormously, which would allow construction costs (i.e. labour costs) to come down. It will replace part of the physically demanding work done by builders. It reduces failure costs thanks to digital engineering & construction. It will enable new partnerships between chain partners. Printing will allow more design freedom because no formwork is needed.
The project was initiated by a consortium. During the 2016 Dutch Design Week, the municipality of Eindhoven and TU/e signed a declaration of intent aimed at building the first-ever 3D concrete printed home in Eindhoven.
During the 2016 Dutch Design Week, a public statement was made about the intention to build the first-ever 3D-printed home in Eindhoven. After that, more work and engineering took place to enable the ambition of actually creating a printed home fit for habitation, in accordance with applicable statutory requirements and meeting the needs of the end user. A consortium was established that wanted to invest in the project. We found a site and an architect, and a design was created. We are now ready to start building.
Yes, the homes will be left in place indefinitely. Vesteda’s involvement concerns a long-term investment.
The homes will be ready to move into and will have a fitted kitchen and bathroom, and the floors and walls will be finished as well.
The homes will be connected to a heating grid which the local authority is having installed.
Bosrijk is eminently suitable for this innovative project. The architecture fits in with the surroundings and the homes tie in with the local authority’s ambitions for the area (sustainable, innovative, high visual quality, images in the landscape).
Candidates can register with Vesteda. Rent rates are not known at this point.
Not at this site/in this project, but the local authority would like to see more parties adopting this building method, from their perspective aimed at creating a more affordable, sustainable and demand-oriented residential city. Eindhoven is happy to provide a testing ground for innovations.
Concrete is extremely long-lasting, which makes it a sustainable product. Moreover, it is one of the few building materials that can be applied in a specific shape, then react with water and subsequently become inert to water. Less material will be used, only in places where it is needed and in exactly the required quantity, failure costs are reduced, there is less waste and it offers freedom of design, making it sustainable in terms of CO2 reduction as well as socially sustainable.
It originated from the collaborating parties in the research consortium of the TU/e, complemented by a buyer.
Where applicable, customary calculation rules from the current standards are used. Where not applicable, tests are performed to demonstrate the product fulfils all requirements.
The production method, the creative process, every single detail can be completely reinvented. That requires a radical rethink. In addition, there are practical challenges related to the printing, including how to produce a wall with insulation in one piece, or how to print a roof on-site.
The homes will fulfil all requirements that today’s homeowners have in terms of comfort, quality, layout and sustainability. We will, of course, take on board any feedback from people’s living experience in this project and apply it in future projects.
Due to the corona pandemic, it is not possible to visit the first house with groups. The first house can be visited by the media and business relations of the consortium members until 1 August 2021. After that, the house is inhabited for six months. Perhaps in the period after that, a visit is possible for anyone who is interested.