Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg Achieves Another Milestone As Leader in Affordable Housing Solutions
Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg’s mission to find innovative and cost-effective solutions that lead to more affordable housing solutions attracted a flurry of attention on June 9, 2023, at the construction site of its next two 3D printed homes in Newport News.
Last week’s American Drymix Mortar Conference and Industry Showcase attended by the global community of drymix mortar experts branched off for a field trip for a busload of attendees and several more driving in separate cars to 41st Street, where two Habitat homes in progress hold a unique distinction.
They are the first homes that rely on the printed walls to support the roof without rebar or beams. This is a significant advancement for 3D printing construction because builders no longer have to rely on additional cost adding framing or post and beam. Black Buffalo 3D and material made by MAPEI Corporation is the only 3D printing company in the world that has achieved certification for this from ICC-ES, an internationally recognized organization responsible for building codes in over 55 countries.
“For us, it’s another tool in the toolbox that we can use toward building affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families,” said Janet V. Green, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg.
“These are, if not the only, two houses that rely on 3D printing to print the structural wall,” said Peter Cooperman, Interim Chief Marketing Officer of Black Buffalo 3D. “It represents a major advance forward, and it wouldn’t be possible without Habitat.”
The industry experts toted cameras and video equipment, many walking through the homes in awe, snapping selfies with the homes as a backdrop. Among them, Federico Saldarriaga, part of Research & Development at Cementos Argos, an industry leader in concrete and cement, in Colombia, South America. “This is something that’s never been done before,” he said. “It’s the highest technology and it’s being used in service for people.”
The two 3D printed houses will be the 20th and 21st Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg homes sponsored by Newport News Shipbuilding. BayPort Credit Union co-sponsored one of the homes. Ground was broken on both last October.
The nonprofit made national news in December 2021 when it dedicated the first-ever completed 3D printed Habitat home in the nation to a Williamsburg family.
Green also accepted a surprise $1,000 donation to Habitat from Ferdinand Leopolder, Founder and President of The Middle East Drymix Mortar Association. These homes should be complete later this year and Habitat will sell to two local families who will purchase them as part of the first-time Habitat Homebuyer Program. Families who qualify for the Homebuyer Program agree to pay back their 20- to 30-year no-interest mortgages to Habitat, which uses the payments to build more homes in the community.