ICON, the industry pioneer in large-scale 3D printing for construction, announced its new project, ‘Initiative 99’, during the 2023 annual SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, this March. ICON will be opening a competition for architecture worldwide, in collaboration with New Story, an organization that provides affordable housing, and Big-Bjarke Ingels Group. The company has 3D printed several homes in Mexico and El Salvador with their Vulcan II printer. Now, they are launching an exciting challenge to architects, engineers, and designers: create affordable, eye-catching homes for less than $99,000.
Anyone in the industry can sign up for the multi-phase, year-long competition that will be judged by an expert panel, which includes engineers, architects, and advocates for affordable housing. The competition starts in the summer 2023. Participants are encouraged and encouraged to come up with innovative solutions that could be replicated or scaled to meet increasing demand for affordable housing. The $1 million prize will be awarded to the winner. Additionally, their designs will be made available for public use. The organizers of this competition hope to encourage a collaborative approach towards solving the affordable housing crisis as well as positive changes within the industry through the competition.
“We believe that the future of homebuilding lies in the intersection of technology, sustainability, and design. The Initiative 99 competition is an exciting opportunity to bring together the brightest minds in architecture, engineering, and design to push the boundaries of what’s possible and create a better future for all” Brett Hagler is the CEO and co-founder at New Story.
3D printing: Why?
The initiative to reinvigorate the affordable housing market is part of ICON’s broader mission to create a more equitable and sustainable world. Building affordable homes is difficult and costly due to the high cost of materials and labor. 3D printing technology is able to reduce these costs by using less expensive materials such as concrete or recycled matter. This results in shorter construction times and reduced labor costs. 3D printing is flexible and allows for better utilization of materials. This reduces waste and maximizes efficiency. With a staggering 7.2 million rental homes needed for extremely low-income renters in the United States alone, ICON’s initiative is a breath of fresh air. It has the potential to revolutionize the way that we build affordable homes in order to help those most in need.
By harnessing the power of 3D printing technology in architecture we hope the competition’s goals of creating homes that are not only affordable and accessible, but also beautiful and sustainable, come to fruition. If you are interested in learning more, you can visit ICON’s website HERE.
What do you think of ICON’s Initiative 99? Let us know in a comment below or on our LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly Newsletter here, the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox! You can also find all our videos on our YouTube channel.
*Cover photo credits: ICON 3-D Technology