Kamp C Is the First to Print a Complete House in One Piece

Provinciaal Centrum Duurzaam Bouwen & Wonen Kamp C (the Provincial Center for Sustainability and Innovation in Construction) based in the Westerlo province in Belgium, printed a house using the largest 3D concrete printer in Europe. The building was printed in one piece with a fixed printer. This is a world first.

You can find the model home on the premises of Kamp C. The 2-story house is 8 m tall and has a floor area of 90 m2, the average size of a terraced house in this region.

“What makes this house so unique, is that we printed it with a fixed 3D concrete printer,” says Emiel Ascione, project manager at Kamp C. “Other houses that were printed around the world only have one floor. In many cases, the components were printed in a factory and were assembled on-site. We, however, printed the entire building envelope in one piece on-site.”

The house was printed as part of the European C3PO with financing from ERDF (European Regional Development Fund). With this feat, the project partners hope to raise interest in the building industry about the use of 3D concrete printing as a building technique.

The building industry has expressed plenty of interest. 3D printing in construction is experiencing an uptick around the world. Several possibilities, including the printing of provisional housing and even complete apartments, are already being implemented, but this technology is still very novel in the Flanders region.

As the construction industry is facing unprecedented challenges – reducing consumption of materials and energy, CO2 emissions and the waste stream – the demand for high-quality and affordable housing is on the rise.

At Kamp C, they believe that new technologies, such as 3D concrete printing, can help provide a response. That is why they created this unique location on our site, where construction companies can experiment with 3D printing, together with research and education institutions.

Three Times Sturdier
The printed house is 3 times sturdier than a house built with concrete blocks.

“The material’s compressive strength is 3 times greater than that of the conventional quick build brick,” explained Marijke Aerts, project manager at Kamp C. “This first house is a test. The researchers will now check whether solidity is retained over time.”

Besides the fibers in the concrete, the amount of wire-mesh reinforcement used is extremely limited. As a result of the printing technology used, formwork was redundant, saving an estimated 60% on material, time, and budget. In the future, an entire house could be printed in just under 2 days. If you add it all up, it took just 3 weeks to print the model house at Kamp C.

The model home was designed to showcase the technology and the potential of 3D printing.

“We printed an overhang, it has heavily curved walls, different types of walls… We also incorporated solutions to the traditional thermal bridge, eliminating cold bridges altogether,” said Mr. Ascione. “We developed a low-energy house, with all the mod cons, including floor and ceiling heating, special façade solar panels and a heat pump, and we will also be adding a green roof.”

“When we started to build it, we had no idea which use the building would have. Our aim was to print the floor area, height, and shape of an average contemporary home, in the form of a model home with multipurpose options. This is a principle of circular building. The building can be used as a house, a meeting space, an office, or an exhibition space. People can visit the house from September after making an appointment,” added Piet Wielemans, who is an architect at Kamp C.

The house is part of the European C3PO project, which aims to accelerate the transition to this innovative technology. Partners, from the business community and the scientific community, have joined forces for the project. They are Beneens, ETIB/CONCRETE HOUSE, Groep Van Roey, Thomas More, Trias architecten, Ghent University and Vicré. Saint-Gobain Weber is also contributing to the project.

Source: Provinciaal Centrum Duurzaam Bouwen & Wonen Kamp C


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