A community of 100 homes being built with 3D-printer technology in Georgetown’s Wolf Ranch neighborhood reached a milestone July 22, when the first model home opened to the public.

What’s happening?

Construction technology company ICON, in partnership with homebuilder Lennar, architecture firm Bjarke Ingles Group and developer Hillwood Communities, has been steadily printing walls using its Vulcan robotic construction systems since the project was announced in November. With the first model home now completed, the group has begun selling its tech-forward houses with the first residents set to move in this September.

A closer look

The 3D-printed homes are made out of ICON’s proprietary cementitious mix, Lavacrete. The high-strength mixture is meant to provide a variety of benefits to the homeowner, compared to materials typically found on housing sites. According to ICON, some of the advantages include:
  • Increased weather resistance
  • Energy efficiency
  • Greater insulation
  • Resistant to mold, termites, fire damage and rot
What they’re saying

“When you go to sell this home in 25 years, it’s going to be in a really strong state,” Senior Project Manager Conner Jenkins said. “With typical construction, you’re really looking at 25- to 50-year timelines on a lot of the components of the home, whereas the walls for our homes will be around for much longer.”

What to expect?

With around 80 lots in the community still in the construction phase, the homes are being put up for sale in waves as they come online. The group expects all of the walls for the 100-home community to be up by the end of this year, while the homes, featuring eight different floor plans, are anticipated to be sold by the end of 2024.

Did you know?

In addition to building the world’s largest community of 3D-printed homes, ICON is also planning to take its technology out of this world. In November, the company announced it had been awarded $57.2 million from NASA to develop a lunar surface construction system. In coordination with NASA’s Artemis program, ICON looks to help the space agency in its mission to establish a sustained presence on the moon by using its 3D-printing robots to build landing pads and roadways.

Stay tuned

Charlie Coleman, division president for Lennar Corporation, said as the Wolf Ranch housing project nears completion, Lennar and ICON officials believe other portions of the Austin area will soon see 3D-printed communities of their own. He also expects the partnership to continue beyond the metro and into new markets in the future.