(KTTS News) – Drury University architecture students are using a 3D concrete printer to build affordable housing for the new Eden Village 3 location at 2149 W. High Street.
Students use a 3D concrete printer owned by The Gathering Tree, which operates Eden Village.
Eden Village is a small residential community that offers homeless people a safe place to stay.
The printer is located on the Drury University campus.
Thanks to its partnership with The Gathering Tree, Drury is one of the few universities in the country to offer students the opportunity to use a 3D concrete printer.
This means that 12 semi-detached houses with 24 residential units will be built in the next 30 to 60 days.
3D concrete printed structures cost about a third less to build than traditional methods, can be built quickly with about 400 square meters printed in a day, have lower maintenance costs, and are safer.
Thanks to a partnership with The Gathering Tree, Drury University is now offering architecture students the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience with a 3D concrete printer, making it one of the few universities in the country to offer such an experience.
“This is cutting-edge technology. There are very few people in the country who do this, and there are only about eight schools nationwide,” said Traci Sooter, director of Drury University’s design-build program and professor of architecture. “Our students want to advance technology by finding innovative ways to reinvent 3D printed structures to create affordable housing solutions.”
The Gathering Tree owns the 35×50 foot machine, which is housed on Drury’s campus. Over the next 30-60 days, the technology will be used to build 12, 24-unit duplexes for the new Eden Village 3 location at 2419 W. High St.
“One of our core values for The Gathering Tree and Eden Village is to change people’s perceptions of homelessness by housing people and bringing them together in a community,” said Nate Schlueter, Chief Visionary Officer of Eden Village. “When lives are destroyed and they no longer have a home, it takes a long time for traditional construction to drive people off the streets. The 3D printers allow us to build a better product cheaper and faster.”
3D concrete printed structures cost about a third less to build than traditional methods, can be built quickly with about 400 square meters printed in a day, have lower maintenance costs, and are safer. Recent testing by Miller Engineering on sample walls for Eden Village 3 showed E5 tornado wind speeds of 250 miles per hour, allowing the duplexes to double as tornado shelters. Once additional testing is complete, construction will begin on W. High St.
Sooter, who sits on the Eden Village board, designed the duplexes and brings her work into the classroom at every opportunity. “Our students have worked on five other projects with The Gathering Tree, including a tiny house for Eden Village 1 that won a national design award, two RVs and two sleeping accommodations for Revive 66 Campground.”
Next semester, students will use the 3D printer to complete a design-build project for The Gathering Tree.
“It was great to work with Drury students who helped us house homeless people and create good neighbors by providing permanent, supportive housing,” Schlueter said. “It’s an incredible experience working with the next generation and introducing them to homelessness in a healthy way.”