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Habitat for Humanity builds country’s first 3D-printed house in Tempe

(KTAR News photo/Ali Vetnar)

PHOENIX – History is getting printed in Tempe.

Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona on Wednesday unveiled the first 3D-printed home in the country that they have started building near Broadway Road and Roosevelt Street.

The first-of-its-kind home will be on land originally purchased by the city of Tempe for affordable housing.

The project combines 3D printing and traditional construction to create an innovative model for the future of affordable housing.

“The ultimate goal is to build affordable housing with less waste, to build it more economically, and to build it faster,” Debra Bradley, chief operating officer for Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.

The 1,800 square foot single-story home will have three bedrooms and two baths. Nearly three-quarters of the home is said to be 3D-printed, including all internal and external walls. The remainder of the house is built traditionally.

“It’s hard to put into words,” Bradley said as she described the printer used for the project. “It extrudes concrete and builds walls – kind of like icing a cake with a piping bag.”

The home is expected to be completed in the early fall for a family who has already qualified for Habitat for Humanity’s program. The mortgage will have 0% interest to remain affordable for the family.

The home’s unique materials and blueprint would not have met city code had it not been for the city council’s approval.

Tempe Mayor Corey Woods joined the event on Wednesday with all the sponsors and stakeholders who had a role in making the historic home possible.

“Tempe is really known for innovation, and this 3D-printed home aligns perfectly with our goal to identify new solutions that accelerate the growth of affordable housing right here in our city,” Woods said during a press conference.

To date, the city of Tempe and Habitat for Humanity have plans for 16  new affordable housing units, including the 3D-printed home.

The homes are all being built on land purchased by the city, to ensure more affordable housing, and then later donated to Habitat for Humanity.

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