Innovation That Matters

The house is totally carbon neutral and off-grid | Photo source WASP

Promoting self-sufficiency with a 3D-printed home

Architecture & Design

The home is designed to be completely self-sufficient when it comes to providing food, water, and heat

Spotted: Currently, the built environment is responsible for 39 per cent of energy-related carbon emissions across the globe, with 28 per cent of that constituting operational costs, and the remaining 11 from construction. Not only is carbon emitted in the production of necessary materials, but transportation of such goods also contributes to each house’s total emissions. 3D printing is one of the ways companies could reduce the carbon footprint of house construction, making the process quicker, more efficient, and less carbon-intensive.

Taking inspiration from the collective dreams of building a colony on Mars or the moon, 3D printing expert WASP has built a self-sufficient home called Itaca, suitable for four adults, here on Earth. Citing the need to survive in more inhospitable environments due to climate changes, the team makes it possible for communities to live without gas, electricity, or water connections.  

The Crane WASP printer is large enough to construct a building on its own, and uses local soil as its material. The additively manufactured walls contain ventilation chambers and use rice husk thermal insulation materials for passive heating and cooling. Rainwater harvesting also provides irrigation and drinking water for the home, and solar panels provide the power.  

The size of the Itaca living space, 33 square metres, is calculated specifically to provide enough food and water to support four adults, and because of the materials used, the structure is both recyclable and biodegradable. The building is carbon neutral to build and run because the construction process uses on-site materials, thereby negating transport emissions.

WASP has secured a site for the first build outside Bologna, and now is seeking partners interested in using the technology to begin building the homes around the world.  

The construction industry is huge, and its carbon footprint is even bigger. Springwise has spotted other companies also looking to make the building process more efficient and environmentally friendly, including one making carbon-negative homes, and a sustainable skyscraper.

Written By: Keely Khoury



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