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  • The idea of 3D-printing our  buildings is nothing new

  • Faced with a desperate need  to construct more homes

  • faster, and in a more efficient way -

  • countless innovators have found themselves

  • drawn by the idea of being able  to quickly print a structure  

  • and have spent years trying  to scale the technology.

  • But for all their efforts, that  3D-printed world has proven elusive  

  • and many impressive prototypes have struggled

  • to become viable for mass-production.

  • But things have just takenmassive step forward in Germany

  • with the completion of the first-ever  3D-printed home to become fully certified  

  • under a national government's  building regulations

  • The impact of this moment for construction

  • and for the buildings we all use could be huge.

  • With the promise of cutting  waste, reducing time on site

  • and addressing labour shortages,  

  • some see 3D-printing as the answer  to many of our world's challenges.

  • Originally used for small-scale prototypes,  

  • advances in 3D printing technology have led  to the creation of full-scale structures like  

  • bridges and homes, and even proposals  for mankind's first martian base.

  • But while 3D-printed structures have  appeared around the world - from Canada  

  • and The Netherlands to Dubai; which wants  to 3D-print a quarter of its new buildings  

  • by 2030 - the technology is yet to take  off as a widespread building technique.

  • But the completion of this  3D-printed house in Beckum, Germany,

  • is set to change everything

  • Developed by leading formwork  and scaffolding firm PERI,

  • experts in its Disruptive Products  and Technologies department

  • and its project partners,  

  • the structure, a detached single-family  property, is the first 3D-printed house  

  • in Germany - and offers 160 square metres  of living space across its two storeys.

  • Critically, the structure is the first 3D-printed  

  • building in Germany to become certified  with a national building accreditation,  

  • smashing a major barrier and paving the  way for larger, more complex projects.

  • Located just outside the city of Ulm,  

  • PERI's team is now working on the largest  3D-printed multi-family house in Europe

  • with 380 square metres of living space

  • divided into five apartments across three levels.

  • So how did PERI get into the world of 3D printing?

  • Here at PERI we have a think tank  - a department called Disruptive  

  • Products and Technologies - and they  think about products and technologies

  • that might substitute our current core products

  • or that might endanger our business model.

  • In this department various ideas are  always thrown around and actively pursued,  

  • so it's not just a monitoring department.

  • One of the topics even years ago  was 3D construction printing.

  • When we built up the printer  on the construction site

  • - directly on the site - and we  started printing there, that was  

  • a moment for me where I realised  that we are printing that on site

  • and people will live there.

  • That for me was a moment where I said

  • 'Wow, this is not just theory, it's not  just in a lab, it could happen for real'.

  • The homes were both built with  COBOD's modular BOD 2 printing  

  • system - a flexible platform that can be  scaled to suit projects of varying size.  

  • The printer needs just two operators and  takes less than 48 hours to set-up on-site.

  • Once up and running, the system can  print as fast as a metre per second  

  • using data from integrated design models.

  • There are a lot of firms around  the world that will have done this,  

  • a lot of research teams that have  3D-printed buildings over the years  

  • and there have been different  levels of excitement around it.

  • Why isn't it widespread? Why isn't it just  the way that we build all of our buildings?

  • 3D-printing really affects the overall  construction process. It has an impact  

  • on the planning side, the execution  of the walls but also on other trades  

  • and the planning and permitting - all  of these things come into play here.

  • The buildings that we've seen across  the globe actually have seen a steady  

  • increase in, let's say, validity.

  • The first ones have basically  been big 3D-printed flower pots

  • where all the other trades have  been thrown in there but nobody  

  • has thought about how to integrate  it into a full construction process.

  • Maybe sometimes in the news and media

  • it's always been portrayed like everything  was perfect but obviously this has been a  

  • steady learning curve and now we feel  that we have hit another milestone  

  • where we've now been able to  execute these permitted buildings.

  • What PERI have done in Germany with  this building - how is that different  

  • to what we've seen before in DubaiThe Netherlands and many other places?

  • We wanted to do real-world, architectural-scale

  • permitted residential buildings.

  • We've done lots and lots of tests  to get this German building permit

  • and we have one of the toughest building  codes around so that's quite a milestone  

  • to get these completely normally permitted  

  • residential homes - and that I think  is where the core difference lies.

  • I have included project partners from  the start. We are working directly with  

  • construction companies, we are working  directly with architects, which don't want  

  • to make just a demo project - it's a real  project where later people will live in.

  • It's a project where the investors  get rents out every month

  • so it's something which will be used and the  other thing I guess is the speed and the size.

  • Now it's actually the biggest  3D-printed building in Europe.

  • PERI also engaged a number of the  core trades on these projects;  

  • a critical hurdle that few other 3D-printed  buildings have attempted to cross.

  • With services and other works already  coordinated with the structural design,

  • errors on site have been almost  completely eradicated - saving time,  

  • money and waste material.

  • While the savings may be modest here,  

  • they'd soon add up across an entire  estate or housing development.

  • What kind of real-world savings have  you seen on this project so far?

  • This integration of other trades has a huge  impact. We've had an electrician come into  

  • one of these buildings and he says 'Well  guys, I'll be saving up to 12 days in here.'

  • So we are saving a lot of labour in  other trades because in the buildings  

  • we are executing there is not going to  be a single slot that has to be cut,  

  • nobody's going to have to drill  a hole for a power outlet.

  • Though the design of these buildings  may feel relatively straight-forward  

  • when compared to some of today's  architecture, the team are using the  

  • lessons learned to construct larger  structures in a variety of forms.

  • With German building certifications now  under their belt, the team are planning  

  • more projects using different materials  and with a focus on further reducing waste.

  • But, while there is cause for optimism,  

  • we're still some way from the  widespread uptake of 3D-printing

  • and several challenges remain  - not least breaking into

  • a traditionally conservative industry.

  • Securing German building certification is a  

  • huge step for you guys and a huge  step for the world of 3D-printing.

  • What other barriers and challenges are  on the way between where we are now  

  • and this being the way we build  our homes, buildings, offices.

  • It's a lot about educating peoplereally. It's a different type of  

  • planning a building - it's different for the  contractor, it's different for the electrician,  

  • it's different all around for everybody involved.

  • So all these trades have to learn how  to cope with this technology and how to  

  • make the best of it - not be threatened by it

  • but to see the potential it can  have for these individual trades  

  • in making their lives easier and making  construction more safe and more efficient.

  • There's definitely a spot for all the  other conventional construction techniques

  • who are also evolving. 3D-printing  will play a very important role

  • - we're very convinced of thatbut this education and diffusion  

  • process into the market will still take some time.

  • Would you live in a 3D-printed house?

  • Of course! Right away - I'd be  all over the design of that.  

  • Just having round shapes, which  are also way more sustainable than

  • the weird rectangles that we build right now.

  • We've tested all of it so we  know it's very, very stable.

  • While the technology has had its challenges,  

  • the success of PERI's project in  Germany marks a major step forward

  • and will stand as a powerful case study for  innovators - rekindling the determination  

  • to make this building technique viable at scale

  • That 3D-printed world we've imagined

  • has just moved one huge step  closer to becoming real.

  • This video was made possible by  PERI - learn more at the link below.  

  • And as always, if you've enjoyed  this video and would like to get  

  • more from the definitive video channel  for construction, subscribe to The B1M.

The idea of 3D-printing our  buildings is nothing new

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Why This 3D-Printed House Will Change The World

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    joey joey posted on 2021/04/12
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