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When shelter is one of our most basic needs, why is it that 1.2 billion people in the world are without proper housing?

While HiP addresses the problem of individuals and families being priced out of the property market, an organization called ICON, are looking at ways in which to solve the housing problems facing the developing world.

The Austin-based startup has unveiled their solution at SXSW – ultra-economic, concrete, 3D printed houses that cost a fraction of a normal new build.

These houses take anything from 12 to 24 hours to ‘print’, and one of the first projects ICON has its eyes set on building one of its first set of buildings in El Salvador in 2019.

Teaming together with New Story, a charity which seeks to solve international housing problems, the plan is to build 100 homes for the community next year.

The model unveiled at SXSW is what will be planned for the El Salvador project. Co-founder Jason Ballard is using this building as an office to test its practical uses.

Currently, the printing costs come out at $10,000 for a house that is 800 sq.ft, but ICON are looking to bring these costs down to $4,000. Each house will come with a living room, bedroom, bathroom and porch.

Once any problems are overcome, the printer will be shipped to El Salvador, along with the operatives, who will begin construction.

Infrastructure, skills, logistics and money are all factors given to explain the shortage of housing for people with inadequate shelter. ICON have solved these age-old problems to create a sustainable, easy and cheap way of creating long lasting houses for entire communities.

And while there are other start-ups who have come up with new ways of 3D printed houses, ICON are the first ones to use concrete, which means it carries none of the problems of plastic.

If the El Salvador project runs to plan, it opens up a wealth of possibilities for poorer communities all over the world. Alexandria Lafci, co-founder of New Story told press, “(ICON) believes, as do I, that 3D printing is going to be a method for all kinds of housing,” she says.

Interestingly, ICON has an eye on space. They have suggested that their product could provide the perfect solution to any space programme looking to build communities on other planets outside of Earth.


Image from https://www.iconbuild.com

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