Don McQuaid leads the international non-profit organization World Housing, which aims to end homelessness. Ian Comishin is the head of the 3D printing company Twente Additive Manufacturing. Together, they harbor the dream of building a 3D-printed affordable housing village near Nelson, British Columbia, the first project of its kind in Canada. Funding, however, is pending.
You can imagine five Fibonacci houses heredescribe Ian Comishinstanding in the middle of a deforested field at Proctornear Nelsonin the Kootenayhis region of origin.
The Fibonacci house, designed and built by Twente Additive Manufacturing, is a concrete house designed by a 3D printer, with a curved structure, inspired by the mathematical sequence of the same name. The first and only copy of the company in Canada is located on the same land, a few hundred meters from what is to become the village of affordable housing.
The project, which already bears the name of Sakura Squareis intended to provide shelter for single mothers and their children.
The idea is to have a healthy and safe place for them, but also cheaper than usual. In Nelson, it’s really expensive to rent nowExplain Ian Comishin. Each of the houses, with an area of approximately 95 square meters (1000 sq.2), will have three bedrooms.
A more efficient construction technique
According to Ian Comishin3D home printing has the potential to spark a revolution in the construction industry, particularly when it comes to building affordable housing.
” We are able to build houses much faster, for less money. »
He estimates that each house of Sakura Square would cost $400,000 to build. This is 15% to 20% less than a house built with traditional methods, according to him.
% of home value. The rest of the cost comes from ceiling, floor, pipes, products that have nothing to do with concrete”,”text”:”For a Fibonacci type house, printer work is less than 10% of the value of the house. The rest of the costs come from the ceiling, floor, pipes, products that have nothing to do with concrete”}}”>For a Fibonacci type house, the printer work is less than 10% of the value of the house. The rest of the cost comes from ceiling, floor, pipes, products that have nothing to do with concreteprecise Ian Comishin.
He foresees that the five dwellings will be printed almost entirely on the land which is to accommodate them, by moving one of the three printers which are already at Proctor. The construction of each house would take between 10 and 14 days.
Beyond the social aspect, the project also includes a part of experimentation and learning.
It’s going to be a validation to see if we can make a lot more [de maisons] with this technologyasserts Ian Comishin.
Managing to build more 3D houses for people in need is precisely what Don McQuaidthe general manager of WorldHousingheadquartered in Vancouver.
The organization funded a community of 10 3D-printed homes in Tabasco, Mexico, and is also responsible for finding funding for Sakura Squareone of his first projects in Canada.
We were focusing on developing countries, but with COVID-19, we realized that you can’t stay home if you don’t have a home.Explain Don McQuaid. The organization therefore decided to put its fundraising experience acquired abroad to the benefit of Canada, and partnered with Twente Additive Manufacturing.
” We really need to innovate in construction if we are to achieve our goal of a home for all. We wholeheartedly believe in the future of 3D printing. »
According to Don McQuaid, 3D home printers may in the future be moved to remote communities, such as in northern Saskatchewan or Manitoba. Entire villages could be built there in one summer thanks to this technology, according to him.
A path strewn with pitfalls
Even though Ian Comishin and Don McQuaid are convinced of the benefits of 3D printing technology in the construction of affordable housing, the culmination of Sakura Square is not guaranteed at this time.
The two project leaders say that in late January, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), a federal government corporation whose mission is to stabilize the housing market, rejected for a second times the request for WorldHousing to finance the project Sakura Square.
The printing of the five dwellings was supposed to start in April, regrets Ian Comishinwho admits that the technology is still little known in the construction industry.
The decision of the Don McQuaidwho hopes she gives as much importance to projects in rural areas, like Procter’s, as to those in urban areas.CMHC also disappointed
The two men, however, do not give up.
We’re still inspired, we’re still hoping to qualifyentrusts Don McQuaid. He still wants to work with the federal government on the project Sakura Squarebut points out that he is also looking for other donors to finance it.
Nevertheless, Ian Comishin and Don McQuaid still hope families can move in Sakura Square by the end of 2022.
An expensive process, according to theCMHC
The WorldHousing.CMHC neither confirms nor denies having refused the request for funding from
To protect the confidentiality of our partners, information regarding applications, potential applications or potential projects cannot be made public until there is a signed agreement with a proponent.she wrote in an emailed statement.
She adds that most of the federal government’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) funding programs are application-based, and that she works with developers to ensure their applications are complete and ready to be filed. in order of priority when presented. It specifies that each application is assessed on merit in accordance with the guidelines of the program applied for.
In the same statement, the
3D printing technology promises fast construction times, lower construction costs, better quality/durability and greener construction. However, she continues,
the technology is still in the early stages of development, and there are several barriers, including cost.
According to the federal company, the technology is mainly used for low-volume, high-value coins, and
it remains to be seen whether it will be possible to promote the adoption of the technology on a large scale to make the process less costly.
Finally, she pointed out that funding is available to applicants across the country, including in rural areas, although SNL“,”text”:”rural and remote project proponents represent only a small portion of the total number of units engaged under the NHS”}}”>rural and remote project proponents represent only a small portion of the total number of units engaged under the . SNL