New housing rises in Leamington using 3D printing technology

0

Content of the article

If only the walls of Habitat for Humanity’s latest local home being built in Leamington could talk.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

They are not even finished and they have already made history nationally and internationally.

The cement walls of the four-unit residential building behind the Bridge Youth Resource Center were printed in layers by a massive 3D printer.

“We like to call it automated masonry placement,” said Ian Arthur, president and founder of nidus3D, the Kingston-based company working with University of Windsor civil engineers on the project.

When completed later this summer, it will be the first 3D residential structure in Canada and the first multi-unit in North America.

“Once it’s there, you can’t tell they’ve been put together with layers,” Arthur said of the walls. “And when it’s finished, you won’t be able to tell it’s a printed house.”

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

Technicians equipped with nidus3D are shown at the Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex multi-unit construction site in Leamington on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
Technicians equipped with nidus3D are shown at the Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex multi-unit construction site in Leamington on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

The giant printer on site can produce cement 24 hours a day.

The walls of two units were exposed on Tuesday and already the process improvements will cut the time needed to print the walls of the next two units by a third, Arthur said.

“Actually, we can print them in a week, a week and a half,” he said. “Current solutions to deal with the housing crisis are simply not adequate. We believe technology like this is part of the solution.

Construction times and costs can be reduced using 3D technology.

Fiona Coughlin, executive director and chief executive of Habitat Windsor-Essex, said the four-unit building will cost around $600,000 “but through research the price will come down over time.”
Funding was provided by the national office of Habitat for Humanity and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

“This is a pilot project,” Arthur said. “This is a first step and we will use it as a springboard for further development and increase the efficiency of how we build.”

Technicians equipped with nidus3D are shown at the Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex multi-unit construction site in Leamington on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
Technicians equipped with nidus3D are shown at the Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex multi-unit construction site in Leamington on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

Partnerships with UWindsor and Invest WindsorEssex are what prompted Habitat’s national representatives to choose the local for this truly groundbreaking build.

Civil engineering professor Sreekanta Das and his team, which includes on-site PhD students Bruno Paini and Marcos Silveira, are constantly testing the structural integrity of walls printed at Leamington and through samples sent back to the UWindsor campus lab.

“It’s exciting to be a part of something new, but it’s also kind of scary,” Coughlin said. “We couldn’t have done it without the research at the University of Windsor and its structural testing laboratory.

Advertisement 5

Content of the article

Das has been involved since the design phase. He was the one who reached out to CMHC contacts to see if they were interested in a new, effective way to provide safe and affordable housing.

“These are exciting times and a great solution,” said Leamington Mayor Hilda MacDonald, who has seen her community struggle to find adequate and affordable housing for years.

“The concern is that housing is built in a way that is affordable, but it also has to be economically sustainable for the owner,” MacDonald said.

Technicians equipped with nidus3D are shown at the Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex multi-unit construction site in Leamington on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
Technicians equipped with nidus3D are shown at the Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex multi-unit construction site in Leamington on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

According to Krista Remple, executive director of the Bridge Youth Resource Centre, who will live in the new 3D-printed dwelling remains to be determined.

Each unit is approximately 700 square feet, suitable for a single occupant or a couple.

Advertising 6

Content of the article

“We are in the development phase of establishing our policies and procedures,” Remple said of the selection process.

The occupancy is unlikely to happen before the end of the year as the construction of four units is part of a larger initiative by The Bridge which will see eight prefabricated units located next door in the coming months. In addition to this, The Bridge will also oversee 30 small homes to be built on the Sherk Street property so that eventually the new community will be a mix of affordable, mid-range and market housing.

“We want a safe and inclusive community,” Remple said.

A soon-to-be-launched Bridge website will offer details of capital gifting opportunities for those interested.

“It can pave the way and have a significant impact on the housing crisis,” Coughlin said. “That could be the tip of the iceberg.”

[email protected]

comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Share.

Comments are closed.