Print Your Own Home

16th September, 2020

Belgium has seen Kamp C – the Westerlo-based provincial Centre for Sustainability and Innovation in Construction – print a house using the largest 3D concrete printer in Europe. The 90sq.m dwelling was printed in one piece with a fixed printer – a world first.

The two-storey house is eight metres tall and the 90sq.m floor space is the average size of a terraced house in the region. “What makes this house so unique, is that we printed it with a fixed 3D concrete printer,” says Emiel Ascione, the Project Manager at Kamp C. “Other houses that were printed around the world only have one floor. In many cases, the components were printed in a factory and were assembled on-site. We printed the entire building envelope in one piece on-site.”

The house was printed as part of the European C3PO with financing from ERDF (the European Regional Development Fund). With this feat, the project partners hope to raise interest in the building industry about the use of 3D concrete printing as a building technique.

Kathleen Helsen, the Provincial Deputy for Housing and the President of Kamp C said: “The building industry has expressed plenty of interest. 3D printing in construction is experiencing an uptick around the world. Several possibilities, including the printing of provisional housing and even complete apartments, are already being implemented.

“At the same time, the construction industry is facing unprecedented challenges: we must reduce our consumption of materials and energy, reduce CO2 emissions and the waste stream, the demand for high-quality and affordable housing is on the rise. At Kamp C, we believe that new technologies, such as 3D concrete printing, can help provide a response.”

Besides the fibres in the concrete, the amount of wire-mesh reinforcement used is extremely limited. As a result of the printing technology used, formwork was redundant, saving an estimated 60% on material, time and budget. In the future, an entire house could be printed in just under two days. Adding up all the days, it took just three weeks to print the house at Kamp C. The low-energy house includes floor and ceiling heating, special façade solar panels, heat pump and will include a green roof.

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