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Spanish researchers 3D-print prototype home using local earth

by Sion Geschwindt
Spanish researchers 3D print prototype home using local earth

Barcelona’s Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and Italian 3D printer manufacturer WASP have created a building they say is the first made entirely of local materials and 3D printing technology in Spain. 

Called “TOVA,” the project was developed by a team of students and researchers from the 3D Printing Architecture (3DPA) postgraduate program of IAAC.

The structure, which was constructed entirely using materials gathered within a 50-metre radius, was conceived as a prototype for sustainable housing that could be built anywhere in the world. 

TOVA was constructed at the Valldaura Labs facilities on the outskirts of Barcelona and is part of a larger project in collaboration with WASP that eventually looks to build a whole house. Construction took seven weeks to complete.

During the construction process, zero waste was reportedly generated, according to the team. Construction took seven weeks to complete.

The structure is made of local earth, mixed with additives and enzymes to ensure the structural integrity and material elasticity needed for an optimised 3D printing process of the walls.

The foundation is made of geopolymer, and the roof is composed of wood. A waterproof coating was added using raw extracted materials such as aloe and egg whites to ensure the longevity of the materials in resistance to weather. 

IAAC sees this construction model being applied to the construction of homes, public spaces, interiors, and exteriors.

Images by Gregori Civera

Read next: Young entrepreneur opens 3D-printed school in Madagascar

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