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Virginia Family Moves Into Habitat for Humanity 3D-Printed Home

Virginia Family Moves Into Habitat for Humanity 3D-Printed Home

Habitat for Humanity last week opened the doors to its second 3D-printed house.

Four days before Christmas, new homebuyer April cut the ribbon on a three-bedroom, two-bath house she helped build in Williamsburg, Virginia.

April, who moved into the fresh digs with her 13-year-old son, logged 300 volunteer hours (one of the requirements of the Habitat Homebuyer Program) between the construction site and a local Habitat reuse store. "My son and I are so thankful," she said at the opening. "I always wanted to be a homeowner. It's a dream come true."

Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg teamed up with 3D printing home construction company Alquist for the project, which began in July. A crew printed the exterior concrete walls of the 1,200-square-foot home in 28 hours—quicker (and cheaper) than the standard multi-week construction schedule.

The biggest difference between a 3D-printed house and a traditional build is the concrete exterior walls, which Alquist uses instead of lumber to save an estimated 15% per square foot in construction costs. The material, according to Habitat, better retains temperature and is more resistant to tornado and hurricane damage.

Virginia Family Moves Into Habitat for Humanity 3D-Printed Home

The house, outfitted with a Raspberry Pi-based monitoring system from Virginia Tech to track and maintain indoor environment data—and soon, solar panels—also comes with an installed 3D printer for producing knobs, light switch covers, and other replaceable parts.

"What you see … is four years of blood, sweat, and tears of figuring out how to make this happen," Alquist CEO Zachary Mannheimer said in a statement. "Virginia is the leader in 3D printing home construction, hands down."

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The firm's future projects include 3D-printed homes in rural communities in Arkansas, California, Iowa, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and other states.

Editor's Note: This article was updated on Jan. 11 to say this is the second Habitat for Humanity 3D-printed home in the US.

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