Dutch architects are constructing a 3D-printed canal-side home, which they hope will spark an environmental revolution in the house-building industry. Jim Drury reports.
This Amsterdam building site is a little different. What could eventually be Europe's first 3D-printed house is being constructed here. It's being made from a bio-plastic mix, containing 75 percent plant oil reinforced with microfibres. DUS Architects co-founder Hans Vermeulen says the house won't be perfect, but an important staging post to a sustainable, eco-friendly, future for construction. SOUNDBITE (English), DUS ARCHITECTS CO-FOUNDER, HANS VERMEULEN, SAYING: "The building industry is a little bit more conservative at the moment but digitalisation can totally transform that industry into a more agile industry as well where you can actually share online and upgrade your neighbourhood online, and share world-wide good ideas and then send it to the machine." Vermeulen calls traditional construction polluting and inefficient. 3D-printing homes will reduce waste and transportation costs, creating homes that can be taken down and reconstructed if the owners wants to leave town. He says the technology offers endless design possibilities. SOUNDBITE (English), DUS ARCHITECTS CO-FOUNDER, HANS VERMEULEN, SAYING: "Digital fabrication allows us and allows customers to tweak designs into their own personal needs." Last year Chinese firm WinSun displayed a five-storey apartment building it said it 3D-printed using recycled materials. But the technology remains in its infancy. Vermeulen's 13-room complex should be ready by 2017.