ICON, which uses robotics, software, and advanced materials (including its proprietary “Lavacrete”) to remove numerous barriers in the contemporary building industry, debuted its first 3D printer and the country’s first permitted, 3D-printed home in at SXSW 2018 in Austin.
Community First Village, run by Mobile Loaves and Fishes to provide permanent, personal housing and services for homeless people in Austin, had quite the breakthrough day Monday. Partnering with Austin-based Icon and and Cielo property group, it opened the second phase of its development with a 3D-printed prototype house that will serve as a welcome center for the community. The 500-square-foot building took a total of 27 hours to print.
“The scheme provides much-needed single-person accommodations for social rent using converted shipping containers to create contemporary, environmentally-friendly homes in a desirable area near to local amenities and within walking distance of the town center,” explain the architects. The firm developed the design in consultation with local residents and stakeholders, and they previously completed a pop-up container cafe for Kingston University and volumetric student residential projects in Coventry.
London-based Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects (FBM Architects) recently secured planning permission to build eco-friendly social housing from recycled secondhand shipping containers in Aylesbury, a Buckinghamshire town located an hour northwest of London.
The project is the latest effort by the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust to provide “quality affordable homes” to people in need. So far the nonprofit has developed over 7,000 affordable homes, and it hopes the green-roofed cargotecture homes will serve as an inspiring and replicable model for future development.
North America’s affordable housing shortage could serve as the same economic rationale for Amazon’s mail-order house business. As housing prices skyrocket in places like Los Angeles and Boston and developable urban land becomes increasingly scarce, an affordable build-your-own-house kit could be just the fix for many households. (And since the company is often blamed for boosting real-estate prices in Seattle and now Northern Virginia, it might be karmically appropriate for Amazon to get in on the solution side to the affordable housing crisis.)