Facing Disaster Head-On with 3D Printed Homes

April 30, 2019
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It has become nearly impossible to keep up with the year-over-year devastation of natural disasters. In 2018 alone, we lost 13,000 homes in the California wildfires, saw tragic mudslides in Montecito, and unprecedented flooding in Maryland. We saw the Carolina’s crushed by Hurricane Florence and huge communities in Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas devastated by Hurricane Michael. One disaster rolled in after the next, before we could even assess the damage, let alone heal our hearts and support communities in the midst of these tragedies.

Sadly, as homeowners vow to rebuild, insurance companies are making wholesale shifts away from heavily hit regions, unable to justify the risk when the rebuilding does nothing to pre-empt or protect these homes and families from the next highly predictable disaster. Even in areas where hazard insurance is stable and reliable, the scale of these disasters stretches the labor and materials markets to their seams, making building exponentially costly and time consuming for the homeowner. And while the news media and empathy of the nation turns to face the next incoming disaster, traumatized homeowners hit by the last one can spend years rebuilding what should take months.

We Print Houses 3D printable home system has been designed to lead us into the future of home building, transforming the way we design, build and (rebuild homes) to withstand the ever-increasing aggressions of nature. Our homes are designed to withstand the brute forces of fire, hurricane and tornadic force winds, 8.0 + earthquakes, hail and flooding.

Here are some of the factors that combine to create disaster resistant homes, which can be built in a matter of weeks, not years:

3D Printing Technology: In the face of oncoming disaster, homes pieced together with sticks, bricks, drywall and shingled roofs can be easily torn apart at the seams. Alternatively, our 3D printing technology literally “prints” homes with self-binding geopolymer Concrete that is impervious to water, wind and fire. By printing a home with one seamless floor to roof process, rather than assembling it with nails, staples, glues and other materials not designed to withstand the elements, We Print Houses Homes are fundamentally stronger and more suited for the modern challenges of nature than traditionally built structures.

Geopolymer Concrete: The Roman Colosseum is still standing, along with the aqueducts and ports built with this same concrete. Our cities employ it in everything from tunnel repairs to major engineering projects. Refineries and chemical plants use it because it’s fire and acid resistant. Geopolymer concrete is self-binding, non-porous and able to withstand crushing force without being crushed.

As a home is printed using geopolymer Concrete, the material binds to itself, ultimately creating a seamless home that cannot be torn apart section by section as traditional composite buildings can. Geopolymer Concrete is non-porous, meaning it resists penetration by water and environmental toxins. Its sheer strength forces wind around rather than through it, and its heat and fire-resistant properties have made it the go-to for industrial projects with a high risk of combustion.

Designing for Safety: We don’t rest on the laurels of cutting-edge technology and superior building materials. We believe that small but fundamental shifts needed to be made within the design-space to create safer homes, while still presenting the buyer with attractive, design-forward, sustainable, modern homes. Our team of engineers, architects and designers have worked together to solve for safety, while creating gorgeous, enviable homes.

These design-for-durability elements include: buttressed ends, which prove stronger under stress; curved walls, which force wind and water around the structure, rather than smacking up against it; and roofs that lie below the roofline, so they cannot be snagged by even the most aggressive water and winds.

The combination of process, materials and design give the We Print Houses homes the superior strength and durability needed to withstand the forces of nature, while providing home owners with legacy-building homes that will last for centuries, not decades. Homeowners will enjoy greater confidence in the safety of their home for their families, and insurance companies will be more likely to provide hazard insurance at lower rates, because these homes will still be standing while, unfortunately, more traditionally built homes disintegrate in disaster.

While it would seem logical that these beautiful, design-forward, disaster resistant homes would take longer to build than the traditional brick and mortar homes we’re used to, the opposite is true. Our 3D printed homes take weeks, not months or years to build. The streamlined process utilizes a fraction of the materials and laborers that traditional homes require, making our methods and technology ideal for responding to and rebuilding quickly in areas hard hit by wild fires, tornados, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes.

If you’re interested in learning more about joining our family of builders, click here.

If you’re interested in learning more about owning a 3D printed house, click here.