Europe may be known for its old, historic buildings — but in the Netherlands, something totally new is on its way.
The fifth-largest Dutch city, Eindhoven, will welcome what will reportedly be the world’s first 3D-printed housing development. The homes will be made out of printed concrete (which is what construction companies often use this technology to produce) and will have both one-story and multi-story options. While the development will contain only five homes total, it’s still exciting for both locals and international enthusiasts alike.
That’s because Project Milestone, as it’s been named, presents a fast, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly way to solve the skilled bricklayer shortage in the Netherlands. And the area in which the houses are being built is known for its high-quality technical institute and innovative architecture. In fact, the housing development is actually a collaboration between that school — the Eindhoven University of Technology, which is a global leader in the 3D printing sector — and Van Wijnen, a Dutch construction company. The development’s location is only 40 minutes away from the first 3D-printed bicycle bridge and is steps away from art museums and tech startups alike.
The first house to be built will be relatively small, at just 1,000 square feet, and only a single story. But the other four will be a bit more roomy. They won’t look like most homes you’ve seen before, though. They’re being described as “erratic blocks in a green landscape” and will appear very futuristic in nature. Given the fact that they’ll be built with ecological responsibility and customization in mind, the developers are hoping the technology will appeal to future owners. Millennials and Gen Yers made up approximately 35% of home buyers in 2017, and considering young people’s fascination with technology, it could be an easy sell. However, the homes will likely be rented out, rather than purchased, sometime in 2019. More than 20 potential occupants have already expressed their interest in calling these strange, printed houses home.
Rudy van Gurp, a manager at Van Wijnen, feels that the technology will start to become even more popular in the near future.
He told the Guardian: “I think [in the next five years] about 5% of homes will be made using a 3D printer.”
Whether van Gurp is correct in his predictions is not yet known — but there’s certainly a lot of buzz over the homes that will be produced by printer alone.