California Hosts Its First Fire-Resistant, 3D-Printed Concrete Home

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RIC Technology, a 3D printing firm based in California, has utilized its 3D printer with robotics technology to build California’s first 3D printed fire-resistant concrete Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in Walnut, Los Angeles.

In cooperation with the City of Walnut and the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the project was begun by Builtech Construction Group. K4K Construction Design was then subcontracted for the 3D printing process. The unique aspect of this 1200 sq ft ADU is its inability to burn and resistance against fire. This design is a response to the escalating scale and regularity of wildfires in California.

The initiative stemmed from the want to contribute to wildfire prevention, directly from the local homeowners Phillips and Constance. They teamed up with the Builtech Construction Group for this project. The project’s primary objective was to showcase the feasibility of 3D printed houses as an answer to the wildfire risks that plague the state. Ziyou Xu, CEO, and founder of RIC Technology indicated the possibility for more extensive applications of fire-proof 3D printed houses, marking a significant step forward in the industry.

The robotic printer lays down the fireproof concrete. (Image Credit: RIC Technology)

Wildfires have caused significant destruction in California, leading to extensive suppression expenditures and lasting community effects. Xu highlighted that fire-proof homes elevate resilience in fire situations and hasten post-fire recovery, thereby saving both time and money.

Under the leadership of CEO Aaron Liu, Builtech Construction Group aimed to lower a house’s vulnerability to wildfires by removing ‘fuel.’ The ADU’s external walls were 3D printed with non-flammable concrete, whereas the roofing incorporated light steel and sure-boards as opposed to conventional wooden structures.

By excluding wood and nails from the main structure, the ADU reduced the possibility of fire invasion in the house. With successful permits acquisition, the Walnut project endeavored to instigate additional collaborations with local authorities and fire departments, thus extending fire-proof structures to more communities in California affected by wildfires.

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