Kamp C completes two-storey 3D printed construction project 

Belgian sustainable building company Kamp C has 3D printed an entire two-floor, 90 square meter house in the Flanders region of Belgium.

The initiative, facilitated by the COBOD BOD2 concrete printer, was a part of the C3PO (Co-Creation: 3D-printing with enterprises) project, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The work, which began in March of 2019, was initially backed by a €1.6M round of funding and aimed to accelerate the transition from traditional construction to 3D printing. Kamp C has stated that it sees the potential of diffusing the idea of printing temporary housing across Flanders, as the region is still new to the concept. 

“We developed a low-energy house, with all the mod cons, including floor and ceiling, special façade, solar panels, heat pump, and we will also be adding a green rooftop,” explains Emiel Ascione, project manager at Kamp C.

The completed 3D printed house and the COBOD printer. Photo via Kamp C.
The completed 3D printed house and the COBOD printer. Photo via Kamp C.

The structure of the house 

The new ‘demo house’ looks identical to the average terraced house one might find in Flanders’ region and is designed to test its resilience over time. According to Marijke Aerts, a project manager at Kamp C, “the material’s compressive strength is three times greater than that of conventional quick brick.” In part, this is due to the tangential control of the BOD2 printer, which, according to COBOD International, can “utilize the flaps to control the deposition of material allowing for smoother surfaces and thicker layers.” 

The house was built based on a circular building design, whereby the team set out to print the floor area, height, and shape of an average contemporary home. This project’s uniqueness lies in its two-floor structure, making it one of the first to deviate from the one-floor design typically found in 3D printed buildings. Formerly, the components for similar projects were printed in a factory and assembled on-site. In this case, however, Kamp C printed the entire building envelope in one piece. 

Upclose section of completed 3D printed house. Photo via Kamp C.
Close-up of the completed 3D printed house. Photo via Kamp C.

Showcasing the benefits of 3D printing

Aside from just a one-off test run, the model home is also intended to showcase 3D printing benefits in the construction sector. Through experimentation with the printer, the engineers managed to diminish heat loss with the traditional thermal bridges. Additionally, the cold bridges, which are typically a source of condensation, were eliminated. The thermal characteristics of the 3D printed building are reportedly beneficial in the cold climate of the area.

Now that it is complete, the building can be easily used as a house, a meeting space, an office, or an exhibition space. From September onwards, the site will be open to the public to visit via appointment. 

The COBOD2 printer depositing concrete during the building process. Photo via Kamp C.
The COBOD2 printer depositing concrete during the building process. Photo via Kamp C.

C3PO project 

As Flanders has industrialized over the past few decades, the C3PO project has worked towards acquainting the region with concrete 3D printing. Investments from the Antwerp provincial government, the EFRO, and other European funds have enabled the project to endure and gain momentum. The project also includes contributions from eight additional academic and industrial partners, including Beneens, ETIB / CONCRETE HOUSE, Groep Van Roey, Thomas More, TRiAS archietecten, Ghent University, and Vincré.  

As the project fits within specific territorial borders and contributes to regional development, it is also eligible for the GTI Kempen, a targeted territorial investment program that merges several different European funds.

The efficiency of the COBOD has also been displayed at the International Bautec construction exhibition in Berlin, where COBOD provided a three-day live demonstration of its technology. The company 3D printed the walls of four small houses over 72 hours. 3D printing construction start-up Mighty Buildings is also looking to represent the rising adoption rates of additive manufacturing in the construction sector. The firm recently raised $30 million in funding to invest in developing 3D printed residential buildings.

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Featured photo showing two-storey house at Kamp C with COBOD BOD2 printer. Photo via Kamp C.