Sunday, April 14, 2024

Construction On 3D House Closer To Being Finished

Future homeowner, April Springfield (right), looks at design options for the 3D printed home. (WYDaily/Dominic Catacora)

JAMES CITY COUNTY — Habitat For Humanity has made progress on its first-ever 3D printed home on the East Coast.

The view from the right side of the property. (WYDaily/Dominic Catacora)

It’s been only a couple of months after Habitat For Humanity and its partners first broke ground. Since then, walls, a roof, and even a shed have been added to the property. The future homeowner, April Springfield, is finally able to start making design choices for what the interior of the house will look like. 

“It feels exciting! I finally see everything coming along with picking the inside. I’m kind of impatient because I can’t wait to see everything put together. Everything just feels great,” said Springfield. 

Springfield has also been working on the house to fulfill her obligation of three hundred hours of “sweat equity” towards building her home. It’s a requirement for all participating families in the Habitat for Humanity Penninsula and Greater Williamsburg program.

“Everything has been going smooth, but it’s hard work. It’s three hundred hours of construction, but the journey has been great,” said Springfield. “You help them build the walls and they were showing me all the rooms from the plan. I’ve just been helping them out and getting my hours in. It’s just really exciting.”

The first-time homeowner will be moving into the property with her son, and their Shih Tzu puppy, Tink.

“I get excited because I like to see everything and what they put into place. I helped with the walls and I had the hard hat on and everything. It’s mind-blowing because it’s just a lot. I still can’t believe it’s finally happening. I applied three times and now I’m finally here,” said Springfield.

The COBOD printer lies disassembled at the front of the property. (WYDaily/Dominic Catacora)

The house has been built in partnership with Alquist, a 3D printing home construction company that has provided the state-of-the-art COBOD 3D Printer.

The 3D home will be approximately 1,200-square-feet, with three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. All of the outer walls of the house have been 3D-printed using concrete as the preferred material of choice. The 3D printer now lays disassembled at the front of the property since that stage of the project is finished.

One of the benefits of using concrete is that it is known to help the homeowner save on additional costs on heating and cooling. This is because concrete is known to retain temperature better than other popular materials used in the construction

The distinct look of the 3D-printed concrete wall. (WYDaily/Dominic Catacora)

The concrete walls were 3D-printed one layer on top of another. April admits that at first she didn’t know what the entire construction process was going to be like, especially one involving a 3D printer, but now she can’t wait to see the finished project.

“My great-grandmother used to live in a concrete house. So I was more excited when I found out because I used to stay in a concrete house when I was a child,”  said Springfield.  “I’m getting something similar to what she had and that’s exciting.”

The house is anticipated to be finished sometime in December, with the goal of letting Springfield and her family move into the house by Christmas. For Springfield, this has been a multi-year process that dates back to when she first applied to the first-time homebuyer program back in 2018.

“My aunt has been with her home for like ten plus years and she was telling me about the process. So I said, ‘oh let me check’ because my son’s getting older and our apartment’s getting smaller. So I wanted something for him to show him that with hard work you can achieve,” said Springfield.

Photos From the Construction Site

For more information on how to donate to Habitat for Humanity, or if you’re looking to volunteer, you can visit the Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg website.

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