How does technology that builds homes in 24-hours disrupt the world?

In March of this year, San Francisco-based startup Apis Cor built a 400-square foot house in just 24 hours.  This is compared to a 6-month timeline a 2014 Census Bureau study reported as the average time required to build a single family home.  While this might not be comparing apples to apples, there is no doubt change to the construction industry is coming.

Industry experts believe 3D-Printing will be constructing buildings of all types within the next decade.  The technology is quickly advancing in all capacities including quality, cost and the material development required to efficiently construct a building in this manner.  It is believed the benefits of 3D-Printed buildings will include:

  • Elimination of the over budget, behind schedule drag on the industry;
  • The cost of construction labor and materials will be reduced by up to 90%;
  • Every home and building will be constructed to an owner’s specific needs;
  • The time to construct homes will be reduced from months to mere days;
  • Waste, safety issues, and environmental challenges will be greatly reduced, if not eliminated entirely.

3D Print Elevator Quote

Apis Cor Low Income Housing

  • Apis Cor built the 400 sq ft home at the cost of $10,134 or $25.34 per foot
    Source: Apis Cor

    Source: Apis Cor

    versus the current average of $150 per foot as reported by Homeadvisor.

  • Home was built on-site in just 24-hours;
  • One person managed the process to construct the home.

Improving on Successes: Winsun

A second market leader in 3D Printing technology is Winsun, a Shanghai-based company, that in 2014 built ten 3D-printed concrete houses in a single day.  These entry-level homes were built at the cost of $4,800 per home.  The homes were printed in a number of pieces at an off-site location, transferred to the construction site, and assembled.  Other Winsun completed projects include an 11,000 sq ft villa and five-story apartment building.

The “ink” used to create these buildings is comprised of fiberglass, cement, and recycled rubble or plastic.

Another 3D Printing company, Cazza, currently uses a cement made with 80% recycled materials.  Cazza is working to increase the speed of their own printing prototype while creating designs that are smooth, showing little to no evidence of material layering.

Homes constructed with 3D Printing will reshape the home buying experience.  It will reshape employment in the industry as the U.S. construction sector employed approximately 2,235,780 workers in 2016 and perhaps most importantly, it will reshape the real estate market.  If the cost to construct a home is reduced by 90%, what will happen to current property values and related industries?