The tiny house movement is heading toward a greater good. Sustainable living developer ICON just unveiled at SXSW its method for creating small, 3D-printed homes for those in need of shelter. The Austin-based startup company is getting set to put their sustainable, single-story, cement dwellings on the market—and we sent one of our top spies to bring us the information.
The Details of ICON’s 3D-Printed Homes
At the moment, it costs ICON $10,000 to print out an entire 650-square-foot home. They plan to get the price down to a much more affordable $4,000 per unit. That may seem steep for underprivileged people, but it’s less expensive than a typical home in America. And what’s more, each house can be built within one full day! ICON also states that they can make 800-square-foot structures. Those are not much smaller than your typical New York City apartments.
Each home comes with the basic necessities for living: a kitchen, bathroom, living room, and even a little, curved porch. ICON will build each structure on site with a Vulcan 3D printer, rather than in a factory. They will also use cement, not plastic, to alleviate any concerns over each home’s sturdiness.
Partnering with nonprofit company New Story, ICON plans to start by constructing a community in El Salvador that will consist of approximately 100 homes. New Story has already built dwellings of their own in Bolivia and Haiti, as well as El Salvador.
ICON cofounder, Jason Ballard, says he’ll test out one of the models by living in it. While there, he will monitor the air quality and look for ways to improve upon its design. Ballard has plenty of experience outside of ICON. He has been running another company called Treehouse, which handles upgrades to sustainable homes.
The Future of ICON’s 3D-Printed Homes
Eventually, ICON plans to create communities in the United States. They realize they may run into problems with labor unions over issues in the construction business, but they’re ready for it. Ultimately, the company is looking beyond our world. They have their eyes on creating habitats for humans in space—most likely on Mars and the Moon. One thing is for sure, no matter what your opinion is about these 3D-printed homes, when that happens, you won’t be able to deny that they’re out of this world.