ICON House Zero Exterior a Photo Credit Casey Dunn
ICON Projects

ICON Unveils “House Zero” and Announces 2022 SXSW Activations

By Brooke Bauguess

New 3D-printed Home Pushes the Boundaries of Resilient and Sustainable Architecture and Design; Official SXSW Event Tours of ICON’s “House Zero” Revealed for March 13-14, 2022

Primary bedroom of ICON's House Zero, featuring a
Photo: Casey Dunn

AUSTIN, TX, March 2, 2022 ICON, the leader of advanced construction technologies pioneering large-scale 3D printing, today unveiled its newest 3D-printed home, “House Zero” in Austin, Texas. House Zero is the first in what ICON hopes will be an entirely new genre of homes that are specifically designed to utilize opportunities created by 3D printing. For this initial project in ICON’s “Exploration Series,” the team partnered with the award-winning Texas firm, Lake|Flato Architects.

As an official SXSW partner, ICON will open the doors to “House Zero” for tours March 13-14, 2022 from 9am - 6pm (badge holders will have priority entrance). Sign up today for a tour of the world’s most beautiful 3D-printed home that illustrates the future of homebuilding at https://bit.ly/Tour_ICONHouseZero.

House Zero at night
Photo: Casey Dunn

ICON co-founder and CEO, Jason Ballard, will also be delivering a featured talk at SXSW 2022 discussing the role robotics, architecture, materials science will play in solving many of humanity’s current challenges such as housing affordability, community health, sustainability, climate resiliency, and human potential. Moderated by PBS NewsHour correspondent and PBS NewsHour West anchor, Stephanie Sy, the featured session, “It’s Time to Build: a Conversation with Jason Ballard,” will take place on March 15, 2022 at 2:30pm at Hilton Austin Downtown in Salon H. Find out more --> https://bit.ly/SXSW_ICON

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ICON’s House Zero

Located in East Austin, “House Zero,” was 3D printed by ICON’s next-gen Vulcan construction system and designed by Lake|Flato, known for their sustainable designs. Blending mid-century modernist ranch house aesthetics, the home features an elevated architectural and energy efficient design that highlights the benefits of resiliency and sustainability, with the digital possibilities of additive construction.

Interior of ICON's House Zero
Photo: Casey Dunn

“House Zero is ground zero for the emergence of entirely new design languages and architectural vernaculars that will use robotic construction to deliver the things we need most from our housing: comfort, beauty, dignity, sustainability, attainability, and hope,” said Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of ICON. “Houses like this are only possible with 3D printing, and this is the new standard of what 3D printing can mean for the world. My hope is that this home will provoke architects, developers, builders, and homeowners to dream alongside ICON about the exciting and hopeful future that robotic construction, and specifically 3D printing, makes possible. The housing of our future must be different from the housing we have known.”

The innovative home, a 2,000+ sq-ft, 3 bedroom/2.5 bath home and a 350 sq-ft, a 1 bedroom/1 bath accessory dwelling unit, features ICON’s resilient 3D-printed wall system, which replaces a building system traditionally made up of multiple steps saving time, waste and cost. The walls of the home are made with a proprietary cementitious-based material, “Lavacrete,” insulation, and steel for reinforcing. Lavacrete provides thermal mass that slows heat transfer into the home and the combination of thermal mass, increased insulation, and an airtight wall increases the energy efficiency and reduces lifecycle costs.

Entryway of ICON's House Zero
Photo: Casey Dunn

Biophilic principles—the way that humans connect with nature and nature-inspired compositions —are behind much of “House Zero’s” design and best accomplished using ICON’s next-generation 3D-printing technology. The curved walls create structurally efficient self-stability, while rounded corners allow for softer, more naturalistic circulation routes throughout the home. Doorways and windows were strategically placed to accentuate accompanying landscapes; eastern-facing high clerestory windows illuminate the living room with soft, yet dynamic sunlight, minimizing the need for electrical lighting throughout the day.

“The 3D-printed wall design and its inherent biophilic quality conveys an ordered, yet non-rigid pattern invoking a rooted and timeless sense of natural refuge,” said Lewis McNeel, Associate Partner, Lake|Flato.

Primary bedroom of ICON's House Zero
Photo: Casey Dunn

“While the organic nature of the 3D-printed concrete and curved walls are new design languages for us, House Zero was still entirely in line with the natural connections we seek in our architecture,” said Ashley Heeren, Associate, Lake|Flato. “The home expresses our shared passions for craft and performance in an inviting and comfortable family home constructed through a totally new way of building. It’s been a thrill for our team to work with ICON on such an innovative home design and be a part of the future of homebuilding.”

ICON continues to set new standards for delivering resilient, dignified housing at high-speed and lower cost. Raising $451 million to date in funding, ICON has delivered communities of 3D-printed homes in the U.S. and internationally and forged partnerships with world-renowned architects, builders and housing organizations missionally aligned to shift the paradigm of homebuilding. In fall 2020, ICON was awarded a research contract through the Air Force, which included funding from NASA to begin research and development of an off-world construction system planned to support future exploration of the Moon and beyond.

Exterior of ICON's House Zero
Photo: Casey Dunn

About ICON

ICON develops advanced construction technologies that advance humanity. Using proprietary 3D printing robotics, software and advanced materials, ICON is shifting the paradigm of homebuilding on Earth and beyond. For more information visit www.iconbuild.com or follow the conversation on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube (@ICON3DTech).

About Lake|Flato

Established in 1984, Lake|Flato designs buildings that respond to the culture and climate of each unique place. Lake|Flato believes in creating environments that enrich communities and nurture life. In collaboration with clients, Lake|Flato creates buildings that are tactile and modern, environmentally responsible and authentic, artful and crafted. Lake|Flato’s work has received wide critical acclaim in more than 300 international, national and regional awards, including the American Institute of Architects Firm of the Year Award in 2004 and 13 Top Ten Green Project Awards from the AIA Committee on the Environment. Lake|Flato placed 1st in Architect Magazine’s 2019 Top 50, an annual ranking of the best U.S. firms, and was named one of the Ten Most Innovative Architecture Firms in the World by Fast Company. For more information visit https://www.lakeflato.com/.