3D printing could be an answer to housing shortages

A shortage of supply is just one of the reasons behind Australia’s expensive housing in the major cities. Many commentators and economists agree that we have not kept up with demand and population growth.

One potential answer being investigated by Dubai is 3D printing. An article from the World Economic Forum notes that Dubai has announced that 25% of the city-state’s new buildings will be made using 3D printers by 2025.

Dubai has already constructed a 250 square metre office building using 3D printing techniques. The city of Nantes in France has reportedly made a five-room, 95 square metre house which will accommodate a local family qualifying for social assistance. The Nantes city authorities are said to be considering developing an entire district of such homes.

The Dubai “office of the future” was created with a 3D concrete printer. The task needed one technician to monitor the printer, seven people to install the building on site, and a team of 10 electricians and specialists to take care of the mechanical and electrical engineering.

The Dubai Future Foundation says that labour costs were cut by more than 50% compared to traditional costs of constructing a building of similar size. Printing took 17 days and the office was installed on a site in central Dubai in just two days. Subsequent work on the building services, interiors and landscape took approximately three months.

The Dubai Future Foundation says that the Dubai 3D printing strategy aims to reduce labour by 70%, reduce cost by 90%, and reduce time by 80%. This would certainly make construction more affordable and could also help to boost supply quickly by making construction simpler and faster.

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