A consortium of the government, knowledge institutions and industry came together to develop the new technology with the dream of solving the housing shortage in the Netherlands. Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) conducted research and developed the BIM models to print. The concrete mortar needed for 3D printing was developed by Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix, and together with TU/e developed the printing technology. The municipality of Eindhoven co-initiated and facilitated the project.
“With this small building, a first major step has been taken today in the development of construction into a high-quality manufacturing industry. From design to implementation, digitalization leads to sustainable and affordable homes tailored to the wishes of the occupant. I’m proud that the knowledge we’ve developed at TU/e has led to this innovation by industry, with the help of the municipality, within a short timeframe.”
- Theo Salet, Professor of Concrete Structures, Eindhoven University of Technology
On the outskirts of Eindhoven, close to the airport, the Municipality is developing a new sustainable neighborhood Bosrijk, they describe as “sculptures in a sculpture garden.” Project Milestone fits perfectly in this idea as an ensemble of five boulder shaped houses in an open spot in between the trees. The houses are designed by local architects Houben / Van Mierlo.
Back in early 2019 Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix started a 3D concrete printing factory in Eindhoven together with BAM Infra. After an extensive R&D process, where the inclined walls proved especially challenging, the factory produced 24 3D printed concrete elements. The elements were transported on a truck to the site and placed on top of the foundation. Construction company Van Wijnen placed the roof, window frames and finishing touches.
“With the printing insulated and self-supporting wall elements curved in three planes, we’ve taken important steps in this project in the further development of 3D concrete printing in construction. Together with all partners, we’ve completed a challenging process and realized a very special home. I think that we’ll soon be able to proudly add the Milestone houses to the list of iconic projects in Eindhoven.”
- Bas Huysmans, CEO of Saint Gobain Weber Benelux
The two-bedroom 94 square meters house is energy efficient due to extra thick insulation and a connection to the heat grid. The building process proves more sustainable as less concrete is needed and it makes the use of formwork absolute.
After learning from the first completed house, the consortium will start working soon on the next four homes which will have multiple floors. This will require further development of the 3D building technique.