A sustainable-building startup out of Austin, Texas called ICON, unveiled at SXSW this week its 3D-printed, 650-square-foot house.
There is no shortage of companies manufacturing tiny homes to be sure; some tiny homes are gorgeous quarters for those that have wanderlust, and then there are others that look as though they were beamed down from space. ICON's new tiny home, however, might just be the closest thing to a traditional home we've seen yet in the tiny genre. And the best part? It costs $10,000 and can be printed in just 12 to 24 hours.
The house is printed of concrete, helping to ensure a sturdy structure. According to Quartz, the concrete is laid in 100 approximately one-inch-thick strands.The 650-square-foot model house has all the essential living spaces — a living room, bedroom, bathroom, not to mention it also comes complete with a wraparound porch. ICON's proprietary Vulcan 3-D printer is able to print a home as large as 800 square feet.
The home currently costs around $10,000 to create but the company has plans to bring the cost down to around $4,000. The aim is to provide significant housing to those in underserved communities. In fact, ICON is currently partnered with nonprofit New Story and plans to create a around 100 homes for a community in El Salvador next year.
With its first model home, the company plans to test use cases. One of ICON's founders, Jason Ballard, explains, "[w]e are going to install air quality monitors. How does it look, and how does it smell?"
Saving forever for a down payment, outrageous housing prices, and dealing with building delays may, not long from now, be a thing of the past. Affordable housing is a persistent problem, throughout the world and the US as well; a 2017 study by the California Housing Partnership Corporation found that Los Angeles, for example, is deficient 551,807 affordable residences.
h/t The Verge