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First of its kind 3D project printing off new affordable homes


A first of its kind affordable home construction project is underway in Leamington, Ont. after Nidus3D and Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex started pouring the walls of four new 3D printed homes on Thursday.

It is part of a research partnership with the University of Windsor and others to analyze and build the first 3D printed homes for residential use in Canada.

“It's totally innovative, and it's all about trying to move the needle on housing,” says Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Fiona Coughlin. “Trying to reduce waste, trying to increase the speed of how we can get housing up and trying to reduce the cost.”

Coughlin says 3D printing could be a game-changing solution to the current housing crisis, suggesting that over time, 3D printing may increase the efficiency of building, promote housing density and reduce some costs associated with construction.

“We thought it was going to be the first 3D printed home for residential use in Canada, and we found out last week it's actually going to be the first multi-unit residential building in North America. So this is incredible,” Coughlin adds.

The project will result in four units, in a self-contained home, inside a four-plex design.

Officials say they will be accessible, net zero ready, and will comply with local planning and building regulations for residential use.

Coughlin hopes 3D printed affordable homes will become more commonplace as research advances.

“We need to come up with new and innovative ways to address the challenges. We know that in Windsor-Essex, there's over 6,000 people at risk of homelessness. And we have a lot of people that aren't even at risk of homelessness, but just struggling to find something affordable and attainable,” Coughlin says.

The 500-square-foot units are considered “tiny” with about $600,000 budgeted for the project.

Coughlin tells CTV News this unique build is being partially funded through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Innovation Fund.

“One of the pieces that is going to come out at the end is a cost benefit analysis. So we'll be actually reporting on how much did the research cost and what went into the research, and what pieces are one time costs,” Coughlin says. “And then what pieces are the costs that would be for anyone else who wanted to copy our work, and we will be publishing all of that so someone could take what we've learned and actually build on it and do even better than us.”

The homes will be available through another partnership with the Bridge Youth Resource Centre for individuals and couples in need of attainable housing. Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex and the University of Windsor hope to advance the partnership by matching students with Habitat to continue to build on the learnings provided by this funding.

“They're going to look beautiful.” Coughlin explains. “It's going to have that urban concrete feel. We're going to be doing this real urban design on the inside as well to make them really have that New York loft look, and then each individual has a home that they can put their own flare to it and really put their own stamp on it.“

Officials say they hope to have the units’ move-in-ready by July 2022. Top Stories

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