3D-printing company Icon recently unveiled House Zero, its latest home design in Austin, Texas, which combines robotic printing technology with traditional building materials. The modern ranch home features exposed wooden beams, a flat roof, clerestory windows, and printed concrete material with deep overhangs that protect the home’s facade from the harsh Texas sun and rainstorms.
The energy efficient three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home also comes with an accompanying accessory dwelling unit and is the first of Icon’s Exploration Series, which seeks to push the limits of 3D-printed home design, says Dwell. The printer is operated using a mobile app, and the entire build process cuts down on time, labor, and resources while leaving behind little waste.
"The homes we’re building are extremely energy efficient," attests Melodie Yashar, the director of building design and performance at Icon. The printed wall assemblies—the gray, textured part of House Zero’s structure—are made by a robotic arm that lays a proprietary concrete material, which is insulated and reinforced with steel. Icon says the material makes for a more resilient structure, and, as one continuous, unbroken thermal barrier, reduces the energy consumption of the home. The design also requires less energy and resources to build.
"Because we are using the printer, we’re able to cut down on the number of trades and folks involved," says Yashar. Three or four people can manage a print job, and the printer is operated using a mobile app.