All Things Real Estate: Will 3D printing of homes may become mainstream?

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the greater demand for homes and the increased costs of wood and other components and the skyrocketing prices over the last year, the time has come as some innovative builders within the U.S. and in other countries have slowly begun to rely on 3D printing technology to produce a very defined and solid home with concrete.

The cost to create this type of construction is much less costly and only requires one person to be on-site to watch the process unfold and monitor the apparatus as it builds a foundation and walls.

The time it takes is considerably less and saves the builder a huge amount of time and labor costs. The downside it reduces the number of jobs that is needed to construct the home, but the upside is more homes can be produced at a lower cost. On average it will take 4-6 months to build an average-sized home of 1200-1800 sq. ft.

However, with a commercial 3D printer doing the work, it can take as little as one day to build the structure and then when you have the contractors complete the doors, roof, windows etc. it can take as little as a few weeks to complete and finish the process.

This is a much more efficient and environmentally beneficial way to produce a home with much less concrete and materials used creating less waste. The accuracy and detail of being able to produce very complex designs and varied shapes and sizes far beyond what a human could do, enables the builder to be much more creative.

This contributes to greater savings as well as saving heat and establishing environments benefiting handicapped individuals to live more comfortably. In 3D Source which explains 3D printing of homes and I quote, “Moreover, the University of Tartu, Estonia, with the Estonian University of Life Sciences, have collaborated to create a low-cost 3D printed house concrete material made primarily of peat which could reduce the material cost of building a house by up to 10x!

Additionally, because peat is so common it could be dug up locally — such as in deprived third-world countries — and used to build houses, so materials do not have to be shipped there. This becomes extremely advantageous in those countries where the necessary shelter and housing is desperately needed at a cost that could never be produced otherwise.

In the U.S. this is a better way to ramp up the construction of much-needed housing at costs that make it affordable for those who can and will no longer be able to purchase due to the escalating prices.

These homes could be built in areas where land is plentiful (upstate NY and other areas) and P.I.L.O.T.S. (payments in lieu of taxes) have been provided for other developments today as well as tax abatements which NYC has provided to many builders.

The brain drain has been continuing for years due to the high cost of living and insane cost of housing and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The time has come to enable 3D printing of homes at an affordable cost to keep more families and individuals in place and not leave to other less costly states.

Dubai has set its sights on having 25 percent of its buildings to be constructed with 3D printings by 2030. There is a Russian company, Apis Cor using 3D printing technology that has been constructing an Administrative building in Dubai.

Even with the searing heat experienced in that area, the 3D printer was successful and passed all tests of speed and durability.

In July 2018 in Nantes, France a family moved into their newly constructed 4BR home, the first-ever 3D printed home for 170,000 Francs=$182.292.57 in 2021 dollars.

The cost at that time was 20 percebt less than a stick-built home.

This is a “no brainer” for NYS and the country as a whole to produce more affordable homes for those who are need of a place to live and at the same time enable them to potentially leave their rentals and gain a stake in homeownership to begin building equity, a future nest egg and long term wealth, and grow roots in their community, which a vast majority have never experienced. 3D printed homes has the potential to assist in solving the housing crisis, whether it be for single, multi-family or government-sponsored projects at a much-reduced cost than conventional methods.

At the same time, the current insanely and ridiculously high cost of wood would be reduced by the decrease in demand and usage due to the use of 3D printing usage of cement, lowering those costs too.

Municipalities locally and throughout the U.S. should begin to rethink and update their local building codes (unless they are already doing so) to incorporate this new technology so smarter and more economically priced and efficient construction can be created.

Lowering the costs of future housing will maximize and increase the insufficient availability of moderately priced homes and enable more families and individuals to leave their rentals which have provided their landlords all the benefits, and turning the tide reversing the wealth gap so greater numbers will be able to seek out homeownership to build their own personal future wealth and security.

I hope Gov Cuomo and Washington are listening and put this on a fast-track agenda to make it a mainstream consideration project.

Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck. He has 39 years of experience in the Real Estate industry and has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (G.R.I.) and also as a Certified International Property Specialist (C.I.P.S). For a “FREE” 15 minute consultation, a value analysis of your home, or to answer any of your questions or concerns he can be reached by cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: [email protected]

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Philip A Raices

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