A joint venture of cement giant Holcim and British International Investment, called 14Trees, has printed 10 houses for sale in Kenya.
It’s the biggest complete printed development in the world, said Denmark-headquartered printer maker Cobod, which made the printer used by 14Trees.
14Trees printed the houses at an average rate of one a week in 10 weeks between October 2022 and January 2023. In the fastest instance, it printed a house in 18 hours.
Six of the houses are 76 sq m in area, with three bedrooms. Four have two bedrooms and 56 sq m of space.
Prices for the smaller homes start at $28,680. The bigger ones start at just over $39,000, according to the 14Trees website.
‘You can solve two problems at once’
The 10 houses are in 14Trees’ Mvule Gardens development in Kilifi County, some 45km from Mombasa.
“With 3D printing, you can solve two problems at once,” said 14Trees managing director Francois Perrot.
“You can build faster like we have shown here with our 10 houses in 10 weeks. At the same time, we can achieve better cost efficiency, which will help make affordable housing a reality for the majority. In addition, you can build with less materials, which preserves the resources of the planet for future generations.”
The houses received an Edge Advanced sustainable design certification by IFC, the World Bank’s development finance institution.
14Trees plans to print up to 52 houses in Kilifi County, in 10-to-15-home batches.
The printer deposits Holcim’s proprietary 3D printing materials, TectorPrint, made at a local plant.
Cobod is privately owned by General Electric, Cemex, Holcim and Peri. Partners include Dar Al Arkan (Saudi Arabia), L&T Construction (India), JGC (Japan), Siam Cement (Thailand) and Orascom (Egypt).