Alquist 3D printed homes made headlines when the builder printed a 3D house for Habitat for Humanity, and now, they’re working with Virginia Housing to construct over 200 homes in Pulaski, Virginia.
Who is Alquist 3D?
Alquist got its name from a character in a 1920s play about robots. As a 3D printed homes builder, the name is fitting. Alquist is a character in the play that believes robots and humans can live in peace.
Since 3D printed homes require both humans and robots to be made, the name seems perfect.
What Does Alquist Do?
Alquist aims to lower the cost of housing and infrastructure by leveraging 3D printing. The goal is to help:
Economically distressed communities
Why Alquist Focuses on 3D Homes
Alquist 3D printed homes make sense, especially after the pandemic began. Shortages during the pandemic led to 50% higher lumber costs and some homes costing $25,000 or more to build based on just the rise in lumber costs alone.
3D printing is what Alquist believes can help:
Address rising home costs
Tackle nationwide housing shortages
The 3D technology aims to help low-income urban communities and rural communities build affordable housing. Alquist spent four years researching the technology. The company works with communities to build:
Senior living units
Alquist is also investing heavily in research to find new, innovative ways to build retaining walls, roads and other concrete structures.
Habitat for Humanity 3D Printed House
Alquist 3D’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity Peninsula & Greater Williamsburg showed the nation that it’s possible to have a 3D printed home. The project was a first of its kind and was the first 3D-printed home that was physically occupied by an owner. April Stringfield was given the keys to her house on December 21, 2021.
The home features a three-bedroom, two-bath design and is made from concrete, although it fits perfectly into the neighborhood.
The 1,200 square-foot structure was built in just 28 hours using Alquist’s printing technology, and it’s able to withstand:
Alquist’s CEO partnered with Habitat for Humanity to make the home possible and demonstrate that 3D technology allows for customization on all levels.
3D printing helped reduce the cost of construction while also allowing for a predictable timeline for the home’s completion.
The printed build allowed for the home to be built four weeks faster than a traditional, stick-built home. While the exterior and shell of the home are printed, the traditional interior work still needs to be performed.
Concrete homes, in today’s market, cost 15% less to build in just material costs per square foot. At a time when supply chain issues and rising lumber prices are causing fewer people to build homes, concrete makes sense.
April and her 13-year-old son were able to move into the home and out of their apartment. The family went through Habitat’s buying program to purchase the home. As a requirement for their program, April had to put a lot of hours into helping other people with their homes, too.
Project Virginia is Alquist 3D’s largest undertaking and is considered the largest 3D printed home project in the world. The Virginia 3D printed homes company is tasked with building 200 homes with a projected named Project Virginia.
The Project will take place in two towns:
Demand for housing in these areas, due to a tech boom, is being unmet. People are flocking to these towns, but the lack of housing is holding back growth potential in the areas. Alquist wants to help the cities attract new workers and meet current trends.
Alquist 3D printed homes and its partner company, Atlas Community Studios, will rely on Black Buffalo’s 3D printing technology to complete the project. NEXCON, Black Buffalo’s printer, offers Alquist greater flexibility with options for:
Printing three-story buildings
Print 9.8” of material per second
Operate for 12 hours straight
Using the technology will empower Alquist to print 1,000-square-foot structures in as little as 20 hours.
Construct homes in 2 – 3 weeks shorter time
Reduce costs by 15%
Avoid high lumber costs
Pulaski’s Demand for Housing
Pulaski, Virginian is a small town with just 9,000 residents and is in southwest Virginia. The city’s manager plans to add 3,000 jobs to the city in the next five years, but housing remains one of the main issues.
Due to high housing costs in nearby cities, demand for housing in Pulaski is high, yet there are less than a dozen homes on the market in the city.
Volvo, Blue Star Manufacturing and American Glove Innovations are all planning to add jobs to the city, but in the last five years, less than 30 homes have been built in the city. And demand exists with each home:
Selling in less than 60 days
Selling above market value
Virginia Housing recommended the town work with Alquist 3D to build homes, and starting in the summer of 2022, Alquist started their massive plan:
Build 200 homes in three years
Offer four home designs
Alquist has also partnered with Virginia tech to teach 3D concrete printing, a first in the 3D printing industry.
The project will take place in phases, including:
Pierce Avenue, where a 3BR, 2 bath homes, spanning 1,280 square-foot will be built on a 10,000 square-foot lot.
Future development featuring 20 acres of land and 55 – 72 housing units.
If everything goes well, Alquist will have a major partner in Virginia Housing, which will help leverage their technology to serve severely underserved communities.
In the past, the homes printed by Alquist utilized Raspberry Pi-monitoring systems, which allow for monitoring security and improvement in the home’s design. While no official announcements have been made yet, it’s expected that all of the new homes will have a similar or same monitoring system in place.
There is still no mention of how much the homes will start at.
Alquist 3D continues to expand its 3D printed home projects and is investing heavily in 3D printed research to find new, innovative ways to help lower construction time and costs.