ICON 3 D Printed Homes Community First Village Austin TX For Homeless March2020 Photo Credit Regan Morton Photography
ICON Projects

ICON Delivers Series of 3D-Printed Homes for Homeless in Austin

By Brooke Bauguess

The 400 sq ft homes, 3D-printed with ICON’s Vulcan II printer, feature one bedroom, one bath, a full kitchen, living room and large porch and are located at Community First! Village in Austin, TX.

ICON, the construction technologies company, today announced it has completed a series of 3D-printed homes as part of its continued partnership with Mobile Loaves & Fishes (MLF), the Austin non-profit widely known for its compassionate service to the area’s homeless community.

The 400 sq ft homes, 3D-printed with ICON’s Vulcan II printer, feature one bedroom, one bath, a full kitchen, living room and a large porch with sweeping sunset views. The series of 3D-printed homes will soon be a place for the formerly homeless to call home at Community First! Village, one of the most innovative communities in the world.

“ICON at its heart is innovation for a better future,” said Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of ICON. We’re going to have to take some risks if we want a better world for ourselves, and the team at Mobile Loaves & Fishes shares a similar vision in their efforts to empower the community around them into a lifestyle of service with the homeless. We need a radical rethinking in the way that we approach solving vexing issues in our society like homelessness. At the end of the day, this is all about people and the dignity of human beings.”

“The promise of ICON’s 3D-printing technology is really exciting, and what better place to start putting it to use than in one of the country’s most innovative neighborhoods designed to serve men and women who have experienced the trauma of homelessness,” said Alan Graham, founder and CEO of Mobile Loaves & Fishes. “Vulnerable populations like the homeless are never among the first to access leading-edge anything, but now here in Austin, Texas they’re among the first in line who will be living in some of the most unique homes ever built—and we think that’s a beautiful thing.”

The series of 3D-printed homes by ICON are located in Phase II of the northeast Austin development, bringing the entire property to 51 total acres. When Phase II is completed and at full capacity, Community First! will have an estimated 480 formerly homeless individuals living in the Village—which represents about 40 percent of Austin’s chronically homeless population.

The 3D-printed homes for the homeless were funded by MLF and its supporters, in particular Cielo Property Group, who commissioned one of ICON’s printers to be dedicated to the city of Austin to address affordable housing issues. With architecture designs created by Logan Architecture and finishings by Franklin Alan, the series of 3D-printed homes feature multiple home designs that were printed simultaneously, three at a time, to further increase speed and reduce cost. The first set of homes are now complete, with the first individuals to ever live in 3D printed homes in the U.S. moving in this spring. Printing has been completed, delivering the full wall system on the second set of homes, and the finish out is underway.

DEN Property Group sponsored the interior design completion of the homes allowing ICON and MLF to provide furnishings, decor and artwork to create a wonderful place for these individuals to call home. Designer, Claire Zinnecker, continued to work alongside ICON to create beautiful interiors for this series of 3D-printed homes receiving input from the future residents.

ICON’s 3D-printing construction process, which makes use of robotics, automated material handling, advanced software, and a proprietary concrete, Lavacrete, offers a new way to quickly build homes that are both resilient and beautiful in a price range significantly below comparable conventional approaches.

ICON is currently underway delivering resilient, dignified 3D-printed homes in Mexico alongside nonprofit partner, New Story, and this year, several new projects will break ground and new partnerships will be announced.