According to a study by the UN, in 2050, two thirds of the world’s population will live in cities. Today, 863 million people live in slums, and the figure is growing. High building cost are one reason why people often end up using cheap construction materials, and thereby risk their physical safety, not to mention the inadequate sanitation.
The Chinese company Winsun has now found a promising solution: 3D printed houses. This method means that 60% of cost for materials and 80% of costs for labour can be saved. Cement and fibreglass are made from recycled rubble and industrial waste. These elements are printed as usual, layer by layer, with huge extrusion 3D printers and then built up. A building with the dimension of 200 square metres costs 3,500 €.
The Egyptian government has already secured the services of Winsun and ordered the construction of 20,000 houses in order to lower the housing shortage in urban centres. Providing new and affordable homes to those made homeless after a natural disaster would be another valuable application for this technology. But Winsun are setting their sights higher: they recently demonstrated that they can also print multi-storied buildings.