Kenya is now banking on latest technology to meet the country’s dream of providing affordable homes for millions of Kenyans.
Kenya’s first 3D-printed homes project may provide a solution to the country’s shortage of affordable housing, using a technology that is quicker, cheaper and more efficient than traditional construction.
The first 3D-printed housing project promises to cut turnaround construction time and more importantly cost of building homes.
The new technology is implemented by 14Trees, a joint venture between Bamburi Cement’s parent company, Holcim and CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution.
“The government has put in place a raft of incentives to facilitate the private sector to deliver affordable housing and seeing 3D printing technology take root in the construction space a move in the right direction,” said Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga
Kenya projects that at least 300,000 housing units are needed annually to meet the current housing demand. The government’s ambitious affordable housing Project seeks to deliver 500,000 units in five years.
The futuristic 3D printing and smart design will move the country towards this target since house completion is faster. A wall under the regime can be built in 12 hours compared to almost four days with conventional building techniques while also reducing the environmental footprint of a house by more than 50, studies show.
The project pilot phase will produce a 52-house gated community complex in Kilifi which will be either one bedroom, two bedroom or three bedroom units at Sh2.4 million, Sh3.2 million, Sh4.4 million respectively.
The project will utilise Holcim’s proprietary ink; TectorPrint. The Tector range gives the 3D printed walls structural function, that will accelerate the scale-up of 3D printing for affordable housing.
Large-scale 3D printing is gaining steam around the world, with some projects producing a home in just 24 hours of printing time for a few thousand dollars.
Unlike other uses of 3D printing – such as medical devices – the process, also known as additive manufacturing, typically uses some form of quick-drying concrete laid precisely by a computer-controlled extruder.
About a dozen companies are working on 3D-printed houses worldwide, with the global market for 3D-printed construction projected to grow to more than $1.5 billion by 2024, according to a study from consultancy Research and Markets.