by Poppy Theron

My project set out to create sustainable homes in a village like setting in London. I was interested in how to create organic shapes without concrete which led me onto researching 3D printing with alternative materials that are biodegradable. Terra, named after the main building material in my project (earth) proposes four 10-storey high villages with a hybrid structure of 3D printed walls and glue- laminated timber columns, beams and CLT floors. The 3D printed walls are strong in compression and I have also designed the walls to be thicker at the bottom to ensure the compressive load is spread. On the outside of the earth walls each module has a greenhouse area contained by triple walled 3D printed bioplastic ensuring the correct conditions for growing plants in the UK. The benefits of 3D printing are that buildings can be printed in a matter of days not months, free-from geometries can be achieved, and curved interior walls and furniture can be inbuilt with 3D prints too. They can be 3D printed on site which reduces transport costs and emissions, and in construction 3D printing can produce up to 30% less material waste. The Crane WASP 3D printers can be connected to create a potentially infinite printing area. The printers can be moved and reconfigured easily so only a few are required for a large site limiting the steel needed. Allotments surrounding the villages and composting facilities can be used by the community around. Amphitheatre seating areas the public, which can be used for concerts in the park. Ground floor for commercial use including sustainable businesses and vegan cafes.

Terra - The 3D Printed Villages in London