Habitat for Humanity has teamed up with the University of Windsor for tackling the growing housing crisis worldwide. The two organizations have showcased their plans to develop the first-ever 3D printed residential homes in Canada. The machine resembles a robot for manufacturing. The homes are expected to be built by April next year. They will be handed over to local families in urgent need of housing. Sreekanta Das, project lead and professor of civil engineering, stated that the aim is to build a centre for sustainable and affordable homes within the faculty of engineering at the University of Windsor itself.
Das is aiming at tackling Canada’s growing housing crisis and homelessness, particularly for those staying in northern communities and reserves. He also wishes to cater to migrant workers. The University of Windsor has stated that a total of four 3D printed Essex County homes will be Canada’s first such units for residential usage. A smaller printed house exists in British Columbia although it is more of a model housing unit according to Das.
Habitat for Humanity, which rented this printer from the same entity which built the home in British Columbia, has been taking the lead on the local venture according to Das. The executive director and CEO at Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex, Fiona Coughlin, stated that the organization wishes to ensure that everyone has the right to stay in decent, safe and affordable accommodation. Coughlin also added that building codes in Canada were not created by keeping in mind advanced technologies.
Das also stated that 3D printed housing units are being built in several other countries and that too on a bigger scale. He will be 3D printing concrete blocks with the big industrial printer at the Structural Engineering Testing Lab of the university. The laboratory is one of the biggest such facilities in Canada according to the University of Windsor. The printer measures 2.5 metres in terms of width and 6 metres in terms of length along with possessing robotic arms. The design is entered into the control setup while the robotic arm develops the layers of the house with a nozzle. Testing will then be done for the concrete segments, keeping aspects like sustainability, strength and durability in mind.
These initiatives, according to Das, will help in catering to the growing need for eco-friendly and affordable housing units. This type of construction will majorly lower greenhouse gas emissions as well. It will only require a few people to build a home and that too in a shorter span of time at lower costs.