Construction

Mighty Buildings to 3D print community of energy-efficient Californian homes

Californian construction start-up Mighty Buildings has revealed that it plans to 3D print a fifteen-strong neighborhood of eco-friendly homes at a five-acre site near Coachella Valley. 

Working alongside the housing developer Palari Group, Mighty Buildings intends to deploy its ‘Mighty Kit’ system to sustainably erect the buildings, in a process that it says eliminates 99% of construction waste. When ready, the energy-efficient fully-solar-powered houses will be marketed at prices ranging from $595,000 for the base model to $950,000 for a larger two-home configuration. 

“We could not be more excited for this groundbreaking collaboration with Palari and to be a part of the creation of the world’s first 3D-printed zero net energy community,” said Alexey Dubov, COO of Mighty Buildings. “This will be the first on-the-ground actualization of our vision for the future of housing – able to be deployed rapidly, affordably, sustainably, and able to augment surrounding communities with a positive dynamic.”

Mighty Buildings’ prefab technology 

Based in Oakland, California, Mighty Buildings uses its proprietary extrusion-based 3D printing technology to rapidly build robust, modular houses while creating less refuse than conventional construction processes. The company says 3D printing results in “near-zero” waste, and in the long-term, prevents 1,100-2,000 kg of CO2 emissions per 3D printed home. 

Since it was founded in 2017, the firm has raised more than $70 million to fund development and scale its production capabilities. As part of these efforts, the firm has managed to gain UL 3401 building certification for its process via California’s Factory Built Housing (FBH) program, lending legitimacy to its architectural design.

Over the last six months, Mighty Buildings has also installed a number of its proof-of-concept Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and has now started to take pre-orders on larger prefab units, such as the in Coachella Valley site. Built out of 3D printed panels, the homes are usually available in three to five-room variants and measure anything between 864 and 1440 sq. ft. 

In its project with the Palari Group, Might Buildings is therefore applying its conventional technology but on a much broader scale, to erect fifteen zero net energy homes, that could be ideal for the region’s sustainability-minded buyers.

A render of Mighty Buildings' proposed fifteen-strong 3D printed housing community.
Mighty Buildings’ new 3D printed houses are set to be fully-solar-powered. Image via Mighty Buildings/EYRC Architects.

3D printing a “world’s first”

Mighty Buildings and the Palari Group are billing their $15 million development as the “world’s first planned community” of 3D printed homes. The neighborhood is set to be built in Rancho Mirage, an area known as ‘the playground of the presidents’ due to its history of high-profile vacations, but it’s also at the forefront of the region’s sustainability drive. 

Aiming to add to this eco-friendly ethos, Mighty Building’s 3D printed homes will be powered entirely by solar energy, and their overall design has been optimized to cause minimal environmental impact. In terms of layout, the properties are set to feature textured exterior stone walls and floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as 1,450 sq. feet of living space. 

On each 10,000 sq. foot lot, residents will also be treated to a swimming pool, and a built-in Delos DARWIN ‘wellness intelligence system,’ with optional extras including hot tubs, fire pits, and outdoor showers. However, while the futuristic homes will no doubt be lavishly equipped, according to Palari Group CEO Basil Starr, they also show the technology’s potential as the basis of a sustainable construction model. 

“We are thrilled to launch this first development of 3D printed sustainable homes and partner with Mighty buildings to realize our common vision,” said Starr. “3D printing allows us to build faster, stronger and more efficiently, making it integral to our platform of streamlining the home-building process, centered on sustainability of construction, materials, and operations.”

Marketable 3D printed houses

Construction 3D printers have been used to create proof-of-concept buildings for several years, but they’re now increasingly being marketed for live-in accommodation. 

Earlier this month, ICON listed its first U.S-based 3D printed homes on the domestic housing market. Based at the heart of an innovative new neighborhood called East 17th Street, the multi-story buildings with north-facing windows and bespoke interiors are available to buy for around $450,000. 

In a similar vein, the Germany-based PERI Group has started to build a three-floor 3D printed commercial apartment building. Using the experienced Danish manufacturer COBOD’s 3D printing technology, the PERI Group aims to create five rentable apartments that are suitable for continued residential habitation. 

Elsewhere, Italian 3D printer manufacturer WASP has taken a more sustainability-oriented approach, and additive manufactured a biomaterial-based ‘TECLA’ eco-habitat. While the circular structure has been built as a proof-of-concept, the firm also sees it as a potential blueprint for a more eco-friendly house-building model. 

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Featured image shows a render of Mighty Buildings’ proposed fifteen-strong 3D printed housing community. Image via Mighty Buildings/EYRC Architects.

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