First 3D printed multi-story houses ready by 2025

A sketch of the 3D printed homes appearing in the Bosrijk neighborhood in Eindho
A sketch of the 3D printed homes appearing in the Bosrijk neighborhood in Eindhoven.
Construction project Milestone continues with four new and improved 3D-printed owner-occupied homes that now also go up in the air.

Three years ago, the first concrete-printed house that met all the strict building requirements rolled out of the 3D printer. The house, known as Milestone, became the first 3D concrete printed house in Europe that is actually inhabited. Now the consortium - in which Eindhoven University of Technology plays a major role - announces that there will be a sequel. In the first quarter of 2025, construction will begin on four new and improved 3D-printed owner-occupied homes.

The new homes will be located in the Bosrijk neighborhood in Eindhoven. After the summer vacations, the sale of the homes, which are between 110 and 125 square meters in size, will start. Realization of the homes will start in early 2025. Preparations are already in full swing. The planning says that the new residents will be able to move into the homes as early as the summer of 2025.

The most striking feature of the four new homes is that they will be scaled up from one to two and even three floors. In addition, the lessons learned from the first home will be incorporated into the development of the next four houses.

For example, the printed facade is now constructed separately from a load-bearing inner wall and a loose outer wall with insulation material in between, giving the concept a circular character and allowing the printed parts to be reused. In addition, this makes implementation a lot easier and allows designers to use the printed concrete separately in the future, in combination with other building materials.

Another major development is guaranteeing consistent quality of the printed concrete. To this end, the researchers at TU/e have modeled all the processes in the printer and shared that knowledge with the printing factory of partner Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix. This combination of knowledge development and years of company experience makes it possible to make the step to printing four homes at the same time, with the assurance that the printed concrete meets the set quality requirements.

Partnership

Project Milestone is a unique partnership between the Municipality of Eindhoven, the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and industrial partners Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix, construction company Van Wijnen, Houben/Van Mierlo Architects and Witteveen+Bos. These parties have entered into the collaboration to realize a total of five concrete printed homes in Eindhoven.

Professor Theo Salet leads the group at TU/e where research is being done on concrete printing and is one of the initiators behind this partnership. This innovative technique revolves around digitizing the entire construction process, from design to execution. This leads to time savings and therefore shorter construction project lead times, as well as higher productivity and associated lower construction costs.

The concrete printing technique specifically adds two advantages. The technique is sustainable due to lower material consumption and allows industrial customization due to great freedom of form. "The focus is currently mainly on scaling up the technology. Only then will the technology also become widely available and the advantages can be exploited," Salet said.

Upscaling

Scaling up this innovative printing technology cannot be done alone. Concrete, printer and design must be closely aligned. This is only possible through the cooperation of all partners in a construction team. Salet is proud that the Milestone project is now getting a nice follow-up, and does not expect it to stop here. "There are still several things in development that we have not been able to apply at this point. Think of the sustainable and smart concrete compositions where the concrete measures what the condition is, but also reinforcement systems with which floors can also be printed in the future."

At TU/e, for a subsequent project, work is also continuing on the development of a digital copy of reality (digital twin) with which, through artificial intelligence, the printer itself monitors the quality and adjusts where necessary.