From Mighty Buildings: 3-D Printed Houses

The Mighty House is a concept whose time has arrived.

It’s built in a factory, with 3-D printing technology. It’s sustainable – waste materials can be re-used in the manufacturing process, and with roof-mounted solar panels, it’s a net-zero structure. And once it’s shipped to a building site, its IKEA-like flat pack can be easily put together.

“It’s designed so a contractor who builds in the traditional way can put up a Mighty House,” says Patti Harburg-Petrich, principal in the Los Angeles office of structural engineering firm Buro Happold. “That’s incorporated into the design.”

Buro Happold served as a consultant to Oakland-based Mighty Buildings on the façade performance and sustainability of the little structures that range from 1,000 to 1,500 square feet.

They’re built with a seven-inch-thick, proprietary Light Stone Material, or LSM. “It’s similar to concrete,” she says. “It’s like a manufactured stone material.”

The Mighty House has been designed for any climate zone in California, and any solar orientation, so its energy performance is as strong in Palm Springs as it is in Mammoth Mountains. And it makes a perfect backyard addition, as a rental, or for a mother-in-law.

The designers at Mighty Buildings didn’t sacrifice aesthetics while they designed their flexible, affordable residences. “Their goal is to achieve high-quality, beautiful homes at a fair price,” she says.” They use digital fabrication and 3-D printing, so they don’t have to be cookie cutter, and can achieve individuality with unique designs and space.”

Wall finishes can vary, and the placement of skylights is customizable, as are the shape of walls. There’s also the potential for 3-D printed furniture, like benches.

And the manufacturing process eliminates a number of stick-built materials. “The wall provides insulation and you don’t need wallboard or studs because they’re all integrated into one material,” she says.

And Mighty Buildings offers a one-stop service. Its integrated process means that the company and its partners take care of the permitting, production, delivery, and installation.

The price is right too: The homes, ranging in sized from 350 to 700 square feet, start at $187,250.

Now that’s a home for the 21st century.

For more, go here.

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