Photo: CHRIS DELMAS/Getty Images
Alquist 3D, an Iowa-based company, is revolutionizing the way America fights America’s affordable housing crisis and has begun to build three-bedroom concrete homes in Virginia that are ready in just 30 hours through a 3D printer.
The company partnered with the Habitat for Humanity Peninsula & Greater Williamsburg foundation and on December 22 they handed over the keys to the first house.
Company founder and CEO Zach Mannheimer says the 3D printing reduces costs by up to 15% by reducing labor, materials and time.
While there are concerns about the displacement of traditional construction jobs and some environmental impacts of this method, Mannheimer believes his technology has potential.
“People can’t afford a house. That is the American dream, or rather it was the American dream. We have to get back to that. 3D printing technology is one way to do it,” she said.
A solution for those who earn minimum wage
Alquist’s goal is build 200 3D printed houses in the next three yearsprimarily in Southwest Virginia, with prices starting at $175,000.
According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there is currently nowhere in the country where someone working full time on minimum wage can afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment, let alone buy a new house.
As a result of the covid-19 pandemic, Wood prices have risen 50%. A typical stick-built home now costs, on average, $5,000 more than it did in 2020, according to company data.
Mannheimer says the company is partnering with state and local governments to fix that.
Alquist plans to work with communities across the US to develop new single-family, multi-family residential units, mixed use and for the elderly.
In addition, it also seeks to venture into the construction of roads, elevator shafts, retaining walls and other traditional concrete structures using 3D printing technology.
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