3D-printed apartment building provides affordable housing in Germany

3D-printed construction continues to grow in popularity worldwide, and the latest example is an ambitious new low-rise apartment building in Germany. The project will incorporate cutting-edge 3D printing technology – as well as timber – and will be used to provide affordable social housing.

The unnamed development is described by 3D printer manufacturer COBOD as Germany’s first 3D-printed social housing apartment building. It’s being built in the town of Lünen by Peri 3D Construction, and follows the firm’s curvy data center revealed elsewhere in Germany earlier this year. It will consist of three floors, each of which will host two rental apartments subsidized by the local government. The six apartments will range from 61 sq m (670 sq ft) to 81 sq m (890 sq ft), and the building’s total footprint will be 651 sq m (7,150 sq ft).

Structurally, it will be a little more complex than most 3D-printed buildings we’ve covered. The first two floors will be built using a COBOD BOD 2 printer, which is the same model used on the recent Indian post office and earthquake-resistant house. The machine will carry out its construction work on-site by extruding a cement-like mixture out of a robot-operated nozzle in layers, building up the structural shell of the first two floors while following a blueprint. The entire printing process is expected to take 100 hours.

However, the uppermost third level will be made from timber and installed by human builders. The exterior on the first two floors will leave the original 3D-printed concrete structure with its telltale ribbed appearance on show, while the timber top floor will be finished in some kind of facade paneling. In addition to adding the timber floor and the roof, human builders will also be used to add the windows, wiring, plumbing and anything else required.

The 3D-printed apartment building is currently under construction in Lünen, Germany
The 3D-printed apartment building is currently under construction in Lünen, Germany


“We are pleased to be able to demonstrate once again how quickly, efficiently and in a resource-saving manner the 3D printer can create living space and what potential is also opening up in the multi-family house segment,” said Fabian Meyer-Brötz, Managing Director of Peri 3D Construction. “We are convinced that the technology is already ready for widespread use on modern construction sites, and especially for social housing projects.”

We’ve no word yet on when the 3D-printed apartment building is expected to be completed, but work is already well underway.

Sources: COBOD, Peri 3D Construction

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