JAMES CITY COUNTY — In an early morning ceremony yesterday (July 12), Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg, along with local partners, broke ground on the project site for a 3D-printed house.
The house is the first Habitat for Humanity 3D-printed home on the east coast and will be the second after a Habitat for Humanity home built in Tempe, Ariz. also using 3d-printing.
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Spearheading the house’s print is Alquist 3D, a 3D-printed home construction company linked to Atlas Community Studios, a placemaking and economic development group that works to revitalize communities across the country.
During the ceremony, Founder and CEO of Aquist 3D, Zachary Mannheimer spoke about the affordable housing crisis, saying the situation has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. He added the issue found across the board in every community has been housing.
“We have to come up with new solutions to lower the cost of housing and get back to the original mission of what we’re trying to do, which is the cliched American Dream, which is homeownership,” Mannheimer said.
April Springfield, matriarch of the family moving into the home, has been working with Habitat for Humanity for the past several years, working hours in the Restore and on construction sites. Springfield also works as a supervisor of Great Wolf Lodge’s laundry facilities.
In order for a Habitat homeowner to qualify for a new home, they must complete a total of 300 hours toward “sweat equity.” Springfield said she worked three years in a row until she finally completed her hours.
“My great-grandmother had a concrete house, and I grew up in one,” Springfield said. “So it’s all very exciting.”
Springfield added that she is most excited to be able to provide a yard for her song to play in and get acquainted with the outdoors.
Once the home is completed, it will be sold to Springfield, who will work toward paying a 30-year, no interest mortgage consisting of no more than 30 percent of her monthly income, including real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance.
This payment method illustrates Habitat’s objective to give families a hand up, rather than a hand out.
“And that’s the nice thing about the project,” said County Board of Supervisors Chair Michael Hipple said in a welcoming statement during the ceremony. “It’s giving back to the community and the community giving back to the organization.”
Hipple is also the president of Michael J. Hipple Builder, Inc., a general contractor business specializing in renovation, remodeling, and building individual custom homes in James City County.
The Springfields’ home will consist of three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The actual building of the house will commence around the first week of August.
Aquist 3D will have a Facebook Live footage of the printing process, provided by two cameras attached to the printer. Visit their Facebook page by clicking here.
To learn more about Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program, click here.