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farox t1_iy3l2tt wrote

And suddenly houses become affordable?.... Right?


Mobely t1_iy3o5ns wrote

I want to know more about these bio resins. Do they break down? And if so, how long does this house last before it starts leaking?


Enoan t1_iy3pelo wrote

In most cases the land is the most expensive part of having a house. If you want affordable houses stop using half an acre for a single family in urban areas. New construction techniques is cool though.


cuby87 t1_iy3se74 wrote

Bio-based materials... sounds a lot like poop. Guess I better read the article.


farox t1_iy3ufg7 wrote

Oh yeah. I also think r1 is an abomination. Mostly for zoning reasons though. Especially in North America there is more than enough land.


imakesawdust t1_iy3unzr wrote

I'm curious how it stands up to the elements and storms. What will it look like in 10 years? And I'm curious about the insulation. They say "insulated with wood". I presume they mean blown cellulose or somesuch?


Kytyngurl2 t1_iy3w13o wrote

Any pictures of the inside? Curious about how insulating the walls are, as climate control can be expensive. Then again, the place is small and the walls look okayishly thick…


Elevenst t1_iy3yn39 wrote

>"The entire house measures 600 square feet..."

That's not a house. That's half an apartment.


turbo_nudist t1_iy3yu0d wrote

you’re correct on land being the most expensive part in most cases, but what urban area are you in where houses have half an acre of land?? i don’t think that’s considered urban


turbo_nudist t1_iy3z878 wrote

well, that’s a helpful attitude guaranteed to drive change.

if these methods become way cheaper, companies will be forced to change to them, or new companies will pop up to use the opportunity, leaving them behind. capitalism absolutely breeds innovation. monopolies do not.


Tokugawa t1_iy45f0p wrote

Bio-based materials. You mean like, wood, and glue? I think we have that already.


DuncanIdahoPotatos t1_iy46ito wrote

My city just started 3D printing homes! I was really excited reading the article, particularly because the developer was talking in great length about the cost savings this brings.

Regular homes in that neighborhood start in the 400s (as in $490k).

These new cost saving 3D print homes in the same neighborhood start in the 400s.

My excitement waned.


Enoan t1_iy49uae wrote

It's called suburbs. Economically urban with excessively low density. Half an acre is a modest exaggeration, but in some wealthy suburbs it is standard.


palegate t1_iy4as3z wrote

Could come in at a key moment, it most likely won't though.


Hodgkisl t1_iy4bga3 wrote

Lots of things have changed with the homes, window and door builds, insulation, flooring materials, electrical systems, heating / cooling / hot water systems, appliances, framing systems in many homes, etc…

Often new things are invented with little benefit to gain, but when something offers great benefit they get adopted.


Moerdac t1_iy4br0v wrote

Welcome to my e home. It cost a million dollars and is biodegradable.


GreatBlueNarwhal t1_iy4czek wrote

Uh, no. A lot of things have changed.

Shingles are different materials, and they can now produce power if you really, really want them to.

Concrete formulae have changed to set faster and more consistently. Modern concretes are also much less corrosive to internal metallic reinforcement, the alloys of which have also improved.

Wood frames are chemically stabilized, and the geometry has changed to support increasing levels of internal conduits and wires. I even have a built-in pest-control system in mine.

Insulation is dramatically more effective and less dangerous upon exposure. Window glass has lower thermal conductivity and is less brittle. Some of it even borders on flexible.

Nail guns are now a handheld device. Even the nails themselves have changed, and there are specialized nails that can do everything from hold a roof on during a hurricane or come apart at a specified force.

None of this even begins to touch the advancements in adhesives and sealants. Environmental compatibility alone is leaps and bounds past the 1950s or even the 1990s.

Like it or not… “cApItAlIsM bAd” is a pretty hollow worldview.


Northstar1989 t1_iy4eqn6 wrote

>And suddenly houses become affordable

Except they definitely won't.

Because the issues isn't construction costs. It's artificial scarcity created by Zoning Laws that say you have to put that new home on a much bigger plot of land (of which there is only so much in a give area) or you can't build it at all. Meanwhile, taller buildings with more units are also outlawed by zoning in most areas.

Because land isn't an elastic good- there's no way to make more of it just because its price goes up: this means people can charge basically as much as buyers can afford for it. There isn't real competition.

The only way to solve this problem is to relax zoning laws to the point where it's possible to build more housing in areas where it is currently in high Demand than there is demand for it. Which means smaller lots for single-family homes and allowing duplexes and mid-rise apartments in a lot more areas, basically.

Until then, all this research into new construction techniques may be good for the environment (since most of the new technologies are "green") but it won't do diddly-squat for housing prices. The issue is artificial scarcity, not production prices.

The actual cost of BUILDING a home (and not the cost of acquiring land and then permits- another source of artificial costs) and THEN building on it is usually a very small fraction of the price new homes of that size and quality actually sell for in an area.


Northstar1989 t1_iy4gamm wrote


If there weren't artificial scarcity of housing due to NIMBY Zoning Laws against denser development (which can mean just duplexes and single units built closer together: it doesn't even mean apartments most of the time, although that's often where density SHOULD be) then higher profits would lead to more companies entering the construction business, and more business for existing firms... More housing would be built, and the shortage would wane.

But because of the artificial scarcity of land created by zoning laws, lower construction costs just equate to TEMPORARY profit increases for builders, and no actual increase in construction (because there's nowhere to actually build more homes much of the time, they wait for the rare upcoming or release of undeveloped land...)

Temporary, because eventually the higher profits just lead to land prices going up, once landowners realize they can now sell land (or rather, old houses to be torn down and replaced with newer ones, in many cases) for more money and the builders can now afford it.

Since every homeowner had to buy the home at some point, homeowners don't really profit either, after a small group selling at the right time profits off the small spike in land costs due to cheaper construction, as they're eventually saddled with even more enormous mortgages...

The only group that profits off this in the really long run, are the banks that give out mortgages for ever more expensive homes...


Northstar1989 t1_iy4gidw wrote

Everything sells sooner of later, if it's in a region with a decent jobs market (makn driver of Denand), since there's an enormous national housing shortage in areas with jobs.

This last caveat is important, since there's PLENTY of rundown, decrepit housing in the Rust Belt that will never sell since half the manufacturing jobs there moved overseas, the rest were automated, and they're never coming back.


Northstar1989 t1_iy4h64o wrote

>Especially in North America there is more than enough land.

Not where the jobs are.

Not within a reasonable commute of it, anyways, since the same zoning commissions that that put R1 everywhere also don't zone nearly enough land for business purposes in the suburbs- so there are no jobs there and people have to commute two hours into the city center from the outermost ring of development in some areas already...


Northstar1989 t1_iy4hcsm wrote

>Half an acre is a modest exaggeration, but in some wealthy suburbs it is standard.

It's actually more than that in most of my town. Literally houses on a full acre of land.


Sndr666 t1_iy4i3c3 wrote

I would like to see a legit source for this, I can only find trendhunter/reviewgeek etc links, which is pretty sus in my book.


farox t1_iy4isnw wrote

> Not where the jobs are.

Exactly my point. If your zoning is 100% residential then there is no way not to commute and jobs have to be far away.

Right now it is zoned for metropolitan areas, so that they get their resources (people) somehow. Not for people. (Still mulling over how to best verbalize that thought)


Hodgkisl t1_iy4jssy wrote

Existing home owners can win as well, especially if they desire to leave the desirable cities and move to more rural lower cost areas. Near where I live many retirees from middle class jobs in NYC move here and live like kings off pensions and the value their apartments sold for.

NIMBY are the largest issue in housing costs, the restrictive zoning hurts everyone long term.


Northstar1989 t1_iy4lw82 wrote

>Existing home owners can win as well

Only once, when the construction costs drop.

Eventually the new, higher housing prices (because the drop in construction costs actually leads to an INCREASE in housing prices dur to artificial scarcity. Counterintuitive, I know...) phase into the housing market through homeowners making upgrades to larger homes and first-time buyers.

So, everyone loses in the end except the banks, all due to zoning laws.


snatchmachine t1_iy4mbod wrote

The average 1 bedroom apartment in the US is 882 sq feet. Even the highest state average is under 1200.

1200 sq feet is a fairly large apt. Plenty of homes measure out under 1000 sq feet in living area (not including basement.)


Northstar1989 t1_iy4mvm2 wrote

>Near where I live many retirees from middle class jobs in NYC move here and live like kings off pensions and the value their apartments sold for.

Boomers who already helped to pull up the ladder to prosperity behind them (supporting conservative politicians who slashed state support to state universities in the late 70's and early 80's, leading to a nationwide explosion in tuition prices, for instance...)

Do they really need more money?

Or perhaps, we should tax those sales more (Capital Gains taxes apply to home sales, I believe? Hard to recall rn, tired and have Post-Covid Syndrome brain fog) and use the money to incentive local communities to relax their zoning laws instead?

(Was part of Elizabeth Warren's housing plan for if she had been elected, actually: offer grants to communities they can receive for relaxing zoning laws, targeted to the areas with the strongest jobs markets and highest housing prices, as the high prices are a market indicator of a local housing shortage...)


Northstar1989 t1_iy4mxsr wrote

>Near where I live many retirees from middle class jobs in NYC move here and live like kings off pensions and the value their apartments sold for.

Boomers who already helped to pull up the ladder to prosperity behind them (supporting conservative politicians who slashed state support to state universities in the late 70's and early 80's, leading to a nationwide explosion in tuition prices, for instance...)

Do they really need more money?

Or perhaps, we should tax those sales more (Capital Gains taxes apply to home sales, I believe? Hard to recall rn, tired and have Post-Covid Syndrome brain fog) and use the money to incentive local communities to relax their zoning laws instead?

(Was part of Elizabeth Warren's housing plan for if she had been elected, actually: offer grants to communities they can receive for relaxing zoning laws, targeted to the areas with the strongest jobs markets and highest housing prices, as the high prices are a market indicator of a local housing shortage... Funny how I can remember some random things, but not others...)


Northstar1989 t1_iy4nwoj wrote

>Exactly my point.

Wasn't clear, I guess?

I thought you were shrugging off the clear and evident need for higher density zoning to deal with the housing crisis with the "ughhh, just pave over more green space" (which I find particularly grating, as besides being concerned about the housing crisis, I am also a hiker and an Environmentalist) argument.

Higher density also helps save the planet from Climate Change (in addition to sprawl directly adding CO2 to the atmosphere through soil mineralization and loss of trees), because while it's impossible to service endless R-1 sprawl with a Mass Transit system good enough people will actually use it over driving, without insanely-large subsidies, it's perfectly doable in denser development.

Particularly when combined with Mixed Use Zoning, this can help move things towards where more people are willing to forego owning a car altogether, in favor of Mass Transit (which right now is rare, and exposes you to immense cultural discrimination...)


Hodgkisl t1_iy4ogwx wrote

Capital gains does not apply up to 500k if gain for a married couple to primary residence sales if a replacement home is purchased.

Edit: looks like you no longer must buy a new home, any primary residence sale is eligible if you lived in it for 2 years.


Northstar1989 t1_iy4omm2 wrote

>the rapid rise in home prices can benefit existing owners when they sell and leave the area.

Again, once.

In the long run, even existing owners (who are younger, and still looking to upsize rather than downsize) get screwed, as well as everyone who doesn't currently own a home and rents.

Not coincidentally this latter group is disproportionately poor, brown, and young. All groups conservatives love to screw over.


Hodgkisl t1_iy4pr0u wrote

Please see my edit, you no longer must buy a new home for primary residence sale. I believe you used to have to buy another.

Also fun is with investment property you can 1031 exchange and avoid any amount of capital gains indefinitely.


LouSanous t1_iy4rojq wrote

How hard would it be to 3D print Hempcrete?

I mean, it's not structural, but certainly it could be extruded into the forms and compacted automatically, right?


Enoan t1_iy4sex5 wrote

2 main factors:

1: supply/demand. Even a small apartment in a city is a pretty decent place to live due to proximity to all the city services.

2: real estate investment. Large investment groups purchase land as an investment. If they rent it out then there are many limits on how the property can be handled, modified, or sold due to renters protections. These limitations do not apply if kept empty. With the growth of services for short term rentals it has become practical to keep properties empty to take advantage of the greater liquidity and use short term rentals to help make up the difference.


Catatonick t1_iy4tq1b wrote

Is this just figuring out a way to add extra carbon emissions in the middle of the build process?


farox t1_iy4tq8d wrote

Check out what they are doing in Tokyo for example. I am talking about allowing more commercial and low industrial usage mixed in with residential.

I get the point of packing people as tightly together as possible and the issue of R1 having very few people paying for lots of roads and other infrastructure, driving communities into debt. (For real, how shit is this whole concept?)

But I don't think you need to go that far. Instead of everyone needing to drive 20km that way, it would already do a world of good if people had to go 2km in random directions.

Yes, this might or might not be problematic for mass transit. But you could use that to play around with different densities. Have more money? Get more land. Have less money? Get less land. But mix it up more as a whole.

I don't think you'll be able to turn north America into Amsterdam. (And trying to will get you lots of ideological pushback)

But maybe you don't have to. (This is assuming electric, maybe even autonomous, cars, renewable energy...) But just mixing things up a bit more would be a step in the right direction. Even if the rest stays the same.


Snoo-23693 t1_iy4z5am wrote

Ugh this already makes me so angry! I’m not against people making profits but do they have to make it so houses are almost impossible to buy for everyone but 1 percent of the population? Bastards!


NoWayNotThisAgain t1_iy51n6p wrote

“You can recycle it!” Isn’t a selling point when buying a house.


gregra193 t1_iy5286j wrote

You should read the article. It’s produced with waste material from sawmills. The printer is printing out real wood composites. This size home can be assembled and wired for electric in under one day, after the printing is complete.


kolodz t1_iy53e6a wrote

> The entire structure was printed in four modules and assembled on-site in a few hours.

So, it's prefabricated home. 3D printing doesn't change a lot.

You still have constraints of prefab.

And, since it's was produced in a factory. 3D printing may change the quality, but probably not the product time.


Snoo-23693 t1_iy54ddq wrote

That’s true. I know some rust belt cities for example are encouraging wfh people to live there. Might help them. But bigger cities do need more density. Or you know places with more jobs.


IAmTaka_VG t1_iy552ci wrote

> However, it’s not clear just yet how affordable this house would be. It’s still a prototype, and the researchers focused on creating it using recycled, locally sourced wood fiber feedstock. This makes it more resilient to disruptions from supply chains and worker shortages.

AKA it costs a fucking LOT


WalkerBRiley t1_iy5ak28 wrote

Except you don't have the constraints of a prefab. It's printed, so it can be made however you want (within reason). If it can be designed in a 3d modeling program, it can be printed.


myDVacct t1_iy5bhg1 wrote

Imagine being so filled with anger and resentment, yet having no clue what you're talking about.

"Nothing has advanced since 1950 because capitalism! Capitalism, I say! SCREEEE!"


kolodz t1_iy5cfpg wrote

Yes and no.

3D printing doesn't necessarily mean that the printer is movable nor that you can build an other one easily.

This article speak about 3D printed elements made then moved.

And remember that moving the "printer", even if possible it's necessarily a good idea. They aren't plastic 3D printer !

There's actually a lot of already available technology to do quick and customized building. (Like Lego-style bricks etc)

Also all movable 3D printer I seen are unable to handle tall construction. That is to this date the cheapest way of building a lot of house in one go. It's also more ecological. (Less thermal loss, easier to use something else than car)


MrMcpizzza t1_iy5dzij wrote

None of that matters, this thing will be deliberately to expensive for anyone regular or poor to use. Only rich yuppies with a YouTube following will own these, everyone else will be watching homeless wondering what happened?


escapefromelba t1_iy5hfw0 wrote

The problem is that additive manufacturing technology does not deliver the same economies of scale that traditional manufacturing does. The cost to deliver a 3d-printed part will largely stay the same, regardless of whether one or 100 are to be produced. This is in contrast to traditional methods, where it is far more cost effective to produce parts in large quantities.


sergeant_snow t1_iy5khr5 wrote

Any idea how this house would hold up to extreme cold? Where I live it’s not uncommon to hit -40C for several weeks at a time. Don’t see wooden insulation being very efficient at that temp


Moerdac t1_iy5oaen wrote

That way they can sit empty like all the other houses. Why arent these damn millennials buying houses? Secondary joke is: brought to you by the same people who made paper straws.


HalcyonEnder t1_iy5p2y0 wrote

Current bio based materials used in homes…wood.

Edit: Before I get attacked it’s probably a sawdust wood fiber composite similar to the Elmer’s wood filler I use in my PLA models post sanding. Durability suspect.


crunchybaguette t1_iy5tssh wrote

It’s like the poly butylene pipes from the 70s. People claim Pex is better and without those problems but who knows what we’ll find out in another 15 years.

Edit because people think I’m saying it’s as bad as poly b - I’m not. I’m just wondering if there will be additional longevity problems with pex that will keep it from being in century homes.


SPACulator407 t1_iy640uf wrote

So a particle board house, fuck that shit.


KillEmWithCookies t1_iy69yrh wrote

The problem is that home costs (or the cost of any good for that matter) have little to do with material costs. Cost to produce a specific good really only sets the floor on prices. Demand will alway set the ceiling.

If demand pricing falls below the floor set by costs for too long, businesses fold or stop producing whatever that item is until supply constraints pull demand pricing up past the floor again.

3D printing of homes mostly looks to replace labor intensive on site work like pouring foundations / framing / drywall. Since that is traditionally done on site and fairly customized to the building site additive manufacturing is a good use case to reduce the costs considerably. But they won’t be passed to consumers since it doesn’t really increase home supply at any great leap.

There is still significant work to be done, though, on the quality of the final product.


vc6vWHzrHvb2PY2LyP6b t1_iy6bw3o wrote

We also need to step out of the "Every American family needs a 2,000+ square foot home with a huge yard" mindset. If we all lived with the same density as NYC and left nature to nature, we'd be much better off as a planet.

That doesn't mean restricting land, it means that the land we already allocate to housing will hold MUCH more housing and costa will ultimately go down.


skibum4always t1_iy6xpvx wrote

One problem i see is that many townships codes , HOA bylaws and development covenants do not allow modular homes. I just see to get permitting as well as underwriting from fanny and freddy to be a nightmare with this. I love the general idea but our housing market and the entire building system is set up to promote stick framing on site.


Northstar1989 t1_iy6zkex wrote

> don't think you'll be able to turn north America into Amsterdam. (And trying to will get you lots of ideological pushback)

This is absolutely what needs to happen.

Massive problems require massive changes.


stinkyfeetnyc t1_iy7dsed wrote

Wow that's fukn amazing. Now let's make a bio based water bottles that litter the ocean and the streets everywhere. That would be even more amazing


Morgell t1_iy7e12h wrote

Until something can withstand and *shield* against northern winters (I'm in Quebec, Canada), I'm not holding my breath that this type of building can become widespread in my area, lol.


Standard_Arm_440 t1_iy7pppg wrote

Are the animals and insects gonna eat the building materials?


Corfiz74 t1_iy7whk9 wrote

And in what climates? Germany has a housing crisis, but our winters can get pretty cold - would the recycle house break down at some point? And would the materials stand up to multi-storey constructions?


Contundo t1_iy7xbel wrote

What’s wrong with stick built?


f_crick t1_iy7ygmr wrote

This is true until it isn’t. They all want to make this stuff cheaper- they’ve just all failed so far, but they’ll keep trying. The market for new mediocre technology that isn’t actually cheaper than existing tech is not large.


zabrakwith t1_iy7yguw wrote

And it only took 5,386,305 hours to print!


drakemaddox t1_iy83lz9 wrote

Futures homes looking like what my great grandparents lived


CharlieAlfaBravo t1_iy8gzlr wrote

It’s ugly. Can the future of housing be less ugly?


minotaur05 t1_iy8skhm wrote

My first house was 1008 sq ft. 3 bed, 1 bath and while not massive, was laid out well and comfortable. 1200 sq feet isn’t “fairly large” for an apartment that’s massive


ravensteel539 t1_iy8uzb0 wrote

Lmao I was just talking to someone about paper straws — that’s a good comparison to draw. Like, yeah, it’s technically better than plastic, but doesn’t solve the underlying issues like trash in the ocean OR the ecologically destructive nature of both the plastic AND paper industries. If that weren’t bad enough, it also is super unpleasant to use and actively makes people dislike environmentalist causes.

The housing one bugs me, similarly — the issue isn’t building materials, it’s that housing costs are massively over-inflated compared to wages and we’ve sold our nation’s soul to the renting/AirBnB markets. The housing crisis is a feature of the housing market, not a bug, and single-family zoning keeps saturated housing areas similarly sparse of actual home owners.

This is where the difference between performative progressiveness and actual progressiveness crops up. If talks of change threaten markets and businesses taking advantage of the disaster/crisis, we’ll just be thrown resin hovels and disintegrating paper straws.


timbott t1_iy8wdhi wrote

Now first world housing can compete with 3rd world hunger for resources


crunchybaguette t1_iy903m6 wrote

Not arguing that pex is better than polyb but it’s a question whether pex will last the life of copper/pvc. I’ve always seen pex with a stated 50 year life but what happens afterwards? Are houses going to need a gut job to replace the pipes?


chuker34 t1_iy9k6kt wrote

Pex has been in use in Europe since the 70’s. The US used it for underfloor hearing starting in the 80’s.

I’ve removed 25 year old pex that was just as good as what I replaced it with. A inch and a half section of that same house on a hot water circ loop attached to a water softener had a nail shot through it when the piping was originally installed, it didn’t appear to have ever leaked and wasn’t at the time I repaired that.

It’s proven.

Side note, PVC is garbage for water. My state doesn’t even allow it for hot water.


chuker34 t1_iyaigh3 wrote

Haven’t used much PVC myself so I can’t really comment, but in most ways it seems better than the ABS I do use. Everything other than installation that is, which is my career. I do like material that’s easy to work with but also stands up, if only ABS didn’t bow in the sun like PCV doesn’t the stuff would be damn near perfect.


detectiveDollar t1_iyfc5o4 wrote

Part of the problem is that most of what's smaller than 2000+ square feet that's relatively new construction in a decent area with nearby jobs are townhouses with gated communities (at least in my area). Townhouses are great, but they have a steep HOA fee which makes the seemingly affordable mortgage a lot less affordable.