Canada’s inaugural 3D printed home ‘Fibonacci House’ has become the first of its kind to be listed on the popular travel-lodging site Airbnb.
Built by Dutch start-up Twente Additive Manufacturing, the compact yet luxuriously-upholstered holiday home is now available for rental in the scenic hills of British Columbia. Using any funding raised via bookings, global charity World Housing ultimately aims to 3D print an affordable new living space designed specifically for use by single moms, a group often shunned by the Canadian housing market.
Twente AM’s construction capabilities
Founded in 2018 by a technical team with a background in automation and wind energy, Twente AM is a manufacturer of concrete 3D printers for complex architectural applications. The company has subsidiaries in Canada, Germany and it’s establishing one in Dubai, while it operates R&D and production facilities around the world, including in British Columbia near the site of Fibonacci House.
Twente AM’s current portfolio includes entry-level, mid-sized and larger-format 3D printers, with the latter comprising its Berlin-1 and and Leonardo-2 machines, priced at €415,000 and €920,000 respectively. With a build volume of 40m x 15m x 9m, the Leonardo-2 is the firm’s heaviest hitter, and its six-axis robot-mounted printer has previously been used to create everything from walls and pillars to footbridges.
The company’s emergence since 2018 also mirrors that of the Netherlands as a construction 3D printing hotspot, with several firms there developing similar concrete systems. In Eindhoven, for instance, Weber Beamix operates a concrete 3D printing factory, while in Rotterdam, Royal3D has used its Continuous Fiber Additive Manufacturing (CFAM) machine to build a modular public workspace.
A 3D printed holiday home
Inspired by the Fibonacci Sequence, a ‘golden’ math ratio often found in nature, Fibonacci House is based in Kootenay Lake Village, a growing community in the Nelson BC basin. Thanks to Twente AM’s technology, the home features a uniquely curved freeform design yet retains a highly-robust structure, which makes it completely sound-proof and capable of adjusting to changeable climates.
Measuring just 35 m2, the tiny house still manages to squeeze in a living area, furnished kitchen and accommodation for two adults and two children on its mezzanine levels. Fittingly, the micro-building’s bathroom is also tiled with a mosaic at the ‘Fibonacci curve’s’ center, while its yard continues on this curve to overlook the area’s stunning vistas.
In practise, the house itself took eleven days to print using a Twente AM system, with a total of twenty additive manufactured parts included in the build. Featuring glue-lam beams, handmade window frames and around 800,000 m3 of printed concrete, the firm says that its finished lodgings demonstrate the material and energy efficiency gains that can be unlocked through 3D printing.
With regards to World Housing’s input on the project, the group sees Twente AM’s technology as a remedy for the world’s growing labor shortage within the construction sector. Building on the lessons learned from Fibonacci House, the organization therefore intends to create a new low-cost Canadian housing community, constructed entirely using 3D printing.
Set to be named ‘Sakura Place,’ the additive manufactured living space will consist of five three-bedroom homes, which combine to form the petal shapes of a cherry blossom. The houses are being built specifically for marginalized communities like single mothers, helping them to live in healthy and safe spaces that combine access to nature, with an affordability that’s impossible to find in urban centers.
In terms of booking Fibonacci House and aiding World Housing’s worthy project, rental is currently priced at a reasonable £94 per night, albeit with service fees and occupancy taxes added on top. Interested in a weekend away at a 3D printed chalet? Check out Airbnb’s dedicated page to find out more here.
Commercializing construction AM
Usually used to build proof-of-concept structures, over the last year, 3D printing has increasingly been deployed to create homes for the commercial housing market. In March 2021, ICON listed its first U.S-based 3D printed homes on the domestic market, with pricing reportedly set to start at around $450,000.
Mighty Buildings has also revealed that it plans to 3D print and list fifteen eco-friendly houses at a five-acre site near Coachella Valley. Once finished, the fully-solar-powered lodgings are set to be marketed at prices ranging from $595,000 for the base model, to $950,000 for a larger two-home configuration.
In terms of the rental market, the PERI Group is currently erecting a three-floor 3D printed apartment building in Wallenhausen, Germany. Under construction using COBOD’s 3D printing technology, the site is not being built as part of a research project but as a commercial undertaking, to create five rentable apartments.
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Featured image shows Twente AM’s rentable 3D printed home in British Columbia. Photo via Twente AM.