Building a Legacy With 3D Printable Homes

March 11, 2019
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Throughout history our homes have been the very foundation of our legacy. A single home could raise and protect a family and be passed down to multiple generations. A home allowed a family to plant their roots, grow their wealth and rise to new heights with each generation. But somewhere in the last fifty years, as house-flipping and flashy but cheap materials have permeated our culture and natural disasters have devastated entire communities, builders have lost sight of their mission to help families lay the foundation of their legacy by creating structures that stand the test of time.

Austin based residential builder and We Print Houses Founder, Larry Haines, has spent decades fixated on the question of how to develop legacy-building homes that are affordable, sustainable, disaster resistant and safe for the people who live in them. His quest to stay on the leading edge of technology led him to develop an industry-changing all-in-one 3D printed home technology system. The system, which is the first 3D home printing system able to get permits in the US, includes a mobile platform and all the corresponding mechanical systems needed to construct 3D printed homes that are exponentially more time efficient, waste reducing and disaster resistant than traditionally built homes.

“To watch homes swept up in hurricanes or burned down in wildfires, and then to be rebuilt in exactly the same old sticks and bricks way, is the very definition of insanity. I went looking for solutions, not just in technology, but in materials, design, and affordability.”  

This quest culminated in a proprietary 3D printed home technology system, which includes a highly-maneuverable mobile platform outfitted with a printer head that “prints” entire houses with hydrophobic, self-binding geopolymer concrete. The same concrete that the Romans used to build the Colosseum, aqueducts and port cities…the same concrete that is widely used today for tunnel repairs, major engineering projects and chemical plants for its water, heat and acid resistance.

The We Print Houses homes include design elements like buttressed ends, curved walls and roofs that lay below the roofline. Each of these thoughtful elements increases the disaster resistance of the house. Additionally, including materials like 100% natural Basalt fiber rebar increases the heat resistance of the home as well as its sustainability. Inside the home, the use of natural materials like cork for flooring, an energy recovery system and modern energy-saving options, both the environmental impact and energy usage of the homes have been greatly reduced, and the risk of toxic off-gassing from chemically based manufactured materials like vinyl flooring has been eliminated.     

But it’s not only what goes into the 3D printed home…it’s about what’s left out. The traditionally built home requires more materials, more subcontractors, more labor – which means, more waste, more incremental materials charges, more scheduling issues, more labor shortages, and ultimately more time. Traditional building can take four to twelve months or more depending on the regional labor market. And in the case of a disaster, when the labor market is stretched to its ends, returning a family to their land can take years.

A 3D printed home can be built in a matter of weeks. While these homes still require key contractors, such as plumbing and electrical, the streamlined teams, materials and schedules will allow builders to multiply the number of houses they can complete in a year and exponentially grow their business while producing homes that are safe, modern and luxurious.  

Time is of the essence to Haines, who sees the global implications of this leading-edge technology. He is committed to training and licensing the We Print Houses system to builders across the United States, empowering them with certification and training, a library of architectural plans designed to International Standards, collective buying power, marketing support and lead generation.

We Print Houses is more than a technology. It is a mission. We aim to develop, empower and support a community of builders dedicated to creating strong, safe, sustainable, legacy-building homes for families, while transforming their own businesses to be increasingly streamlined, productive and profitable. As our collective of builders grows, each builder will experience the benefits, from a growing library of architectural plans to offer their clients, to a decrease in materials costs, to an increase in marketing and public relations support for this revolutionary turn in home building.

By working together with our builders and turning business management pain-points into incredible opportunities, we believe we can be more responsive to natural disasters, and more creative and productive in solving the affordable housing crisis, giving every family a chance to own a home and create a stable foundation for their legacy.

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