A 3D-Printed House Built to Withstand Powerful Earthquakes
In China, construction companies are pioneering 3D-printed houses that can be created in a matter of hours. Just a few months after the world’s first fully 3D-printed office opened in Dubai (with the help of the Chinese architectural printers WinSun), the Beijing architects HuaShang Tengda are pushing the idea of cookie-cutter printed structures even further. According to Curbed, they’ve created a 3D-printed house that can withstand earthquakes of a magnitude of up to 8.0 on the Richter scale.
The 4300-square-foot Beijing villa was printed with layer upon layer of reinforced concrete over the course of 45 hours. Some walls are more than 8 feet thick, which the architects claim will allow the house to stand in all but the most intense earthquakes. (The strongest earthquake yet recorded, a 9.5, occurred in Chile in 1960.)
The home is a bit of a cross between a luxury palace and a prison bunker, and most people will not have the space to build a house with 8-foot-thick walls. Still, it does mark progress toward building earthquake-resistant dwellings in a more cost-effective way.
The majority of earthquake-related deaths come from building collapses, and poor communities can’t afford well-designed, reinforced construction projects. In 2008, the Chinese government admitted that poor construction played a major role in the deaths of up to 10,000 students during a 7.9-magnitude earthquake, when 7000 school classrooms collapsed. If engineers can churn out extremely sturdy buildings on the cheap, it could save lives.
All images courtesy HuaShang Tengda
Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at email@example.com.