Prague, Czech Republic – Czech sculptor Michal Trpak has teamed up with a group of architects to create the Czech Republic’s first-ever 3D-printed concrete house. Construction began over the weekend in the southern Czech city of České Budějovice.
The unique and stylish structure, whose simple 43-square-meter floor plan includes a living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom, is scheduled to be displayed on the Vltava river in Prague in August.
“I dare say it’s the first-ever floating 3D-printed building in the world,” said the sculptor, who drew inspiration from 3D-printed housing projects in the Netherlands.
“The house is intended as a leisure-time house to stand in the countryside, ideally for a couple or a small family”, he said, adding that the design of the house, which can be printed in 48h, was inspired by a single-celled creature known as a protozoa.
The concrete mixture, which is enriched with nano-polypropylene fibers, plasticizers that improve plasticity and produce better organic shapes, and a setting accelerator, will harden after 24 hours, while the house itself should be livable within two months.
“This one is pretty expensive because it’s a prototype and we needed many tests, but the second generation should cost around 3 million Czech crowns (112,500 euros), and the third generation may cost about half of that amoun” promised Trpak.
Its self-sufficient and ecological features also include a green roof, a recirculating shower and reservoirs for drinking, utility and sewage. The 3D-printed floating house is expected to have a lifespan of at least 100 years, and its building material can be crushed and reprinted on location when it expires.
From an environmental standpoint, 3D printing can also reduce construction waste significantly, which would be critical in the Czech Republic, where roughly 46% of waste production is created by the construction and demolition industries.
“Compared to conventional brick buildings, 3D printing also generates up to 20% fewer CO2 emissions, which the European Union aims to cut by 30% by 2030 (compared to 2005),” added Libor Vosicky, CEO of Burinka, which finances the project.
According to a poll released earlier this year, the Czech Republic is not as climate-skeptic as previous studies might have indicated: 84% of respondents agree with the statement that man-made climate change poses a significant threat to the future of mankind, while nearly 90% of Czechs believe that protecting the countryside from droughts, pollution and dying forests can only be achieved through a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Last month, the Czech Republic officially signed up to the European Union’s goal to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.