flexiblefullpage - default
Currently Reading

3D-Printed Communities, Modular Townhomes: Off-Site Construction Projects Happening Across the Country

Off-Site Construction

3D-Printed Communities, Modular Townhomes: Off-Site Construction Projects Happening Across the Country

August 9, 2021
modular home
Photo: bilanol | stock.adobe.com

Off-site construction methods are nothing new, but new advancements and upcoming housing projects hint at a tech-forward future. Pair that with the pandemic and resulting supply chain shortages and the current climate of home building begs the question, 'How can this be improved?' In the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, Van Metre Homes will erect modular townhomes fit with ductless HVAC systems, energy control panels, electric vehicle charging stations, and induction cooking. In Richmond, 3D printing home company Alquist will print a 1,550 square foot home to be sold at $210,000 and erected in less than 15 hours, reports the Miami Herald.

In this house, Alquist printed only the exterior walls, but the company says it will also build interior walls in future houses.

Concrete construction isn’t new, either. But only 8% of new houses are concrete-framed, whereas 91% are wood-framed, NAHB reports. (The other 1% are steel.) Builders shy away from these and other methods largely because they can’t find experienced workers. They also cite cost as an issue. But with the cost of lumber so high, that could be changing.

Whereas most 3D-printing construction endeavors have focused on urban areas, Alquist is taking particular aim at rural locations — many of which face even greater affordable housing challenges than big cities. The company, which also is working with Habitat for Humanity, intends “to build homes for people who live outside of the places where most funding for housing programs is spent,” said CEO Zachary Mannheimer.

Elsewhere, ICON, an Austin, Texas-based company that uses a giant 3D printer and concrete as a substrate, has built six such houses in a 51-acre master-planned property. And in Rancho Mirage, California, Mighty Buildings, in conjunction with a local developer, will put up 15 houses that are built in panels. The panels will use a polymer material comparable to synthetic stone, and will be assembled at the site.

“In early 2018, there were no 3D-printed houses in North America,” said ICON CEO Jason Ballard. “Now we’re gearing up for hundreds.”

Selling is changing, too, with at least two major builders going far beyond 360-degree video tours. Now, you can design and buy a house completely online without ever leaving the comfort of your living room. With the new reservation system from Taylor Morrison, the nation’s fifth-largest homebuilder, customers can choose a floor plan, select a home site using an interactive map and reserve the house — all online.

Read More

Related Stories

Building Technology

Construction Innovation: Framers Fitted for Tech

When it comes to high-tech construction, framers are fitted for tech. The construction industry should embrace that

Housing Giants

2022 Housing Giants Report and Rankings

Pro Builder's Housing Giants report ranks the top U.S. home builders by revenue, closings, and type and location of homes built and takes a deeper dive into two driving forces in housing today: built-for-rent and off-site construction


Production Builders Are Taking a Modular Approach to New Housing Development

Production builders are turning to off-site construction to complete residential projects efficiently and sustainably

boombox1 -
native1 - default

More in Category

native2 - default
halfpage1 -

Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.

Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.