Alquist 3D to Test Additive Construction of Homes

Alquist 3D, an additive construction company,  is focused on solving America’s housing shortage crisis. Their method involves designing dream homes at genuinely affordable prices. They have teamed up with the Virginia Center for Housing Research (VCHR) at Virginia Tech to design, build, and study a 3D-printed single family home – the first of its kind in the United States. This step has been made possible through a $500,000 Innovation Demonstration Grant from Virginia Housing.

The grant provided the funding to purchase a modular 3D printer – the BOD2 – which can be assembled in a matter of hours and requires just two construction workers to be present on-site during operation. This first test will be constructed using a concrete mix, but the open-source nature of the system means future homes can be constructed from more sustainable materials. This test run will print the exterior walls of a 1,550 sq ft, three-bedroom bungalow.

With the use of concrete, Alquist predicts initial savings of up to 15 percent-per-square-foot of building. Classic stick-built homes are facing massive cost increases as the pandemic has led to soaring lumber prices. The speed and efficiency of additive construction would only further reduce these costs and could produce a brand new home in 12 to 15 hours. Virginia Tech has built a proprietary Raspberry Pi-based smart home monitoring system that will be built into Alquist-built dwellings to monitor the indoor environment sensing (air quality, temperature, humidity etc.). This sensing system can contribute to long-term cost savings and efficiencies throughout owning the home. 

Alquist is focused on applying this technology and these houses to build homes for people who live outside of the places where most funding for housing programs is spent. This focus is largely in rural areas, with a target construction price for similar style homes at $181,000.

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