Nonprofit New Story focuses on building homes for families living in impoverished conditions across the globe.
According to the latest report from the World Resource Institute's Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, 1.2 billion people are living in cities that don't have adequate housing.
New Story is working to narrow that gap. In three years, the organization has built over 850 homes in countries like Bolivia, Mexico, Haiti and El Salvador. But thanks to a new 3-D printer, they will soon be able to build a lot more houses for a lot cheaper.
"A traditional style New Story community of about 100 homes will take close to a year to complete. With the 3-D home printer, if we just had one, it would take about three months to complete the community," said New Story CEO Brett Hagler.
At SXSW this week, New Story revealed a 600-square-foot proof of concept of what its 3-D printed homes will look like. The house was printed in less than 24 hours using a Vulcan printer made by construction company Icon.
"Three-D printing opens almost unlimited design possibilities, said Icon co-founder Jason Ballard. "It uses very resilient materials, produces almost zero waste, and it can be done much more affordably than conventional building methods."
This particular prototype cost about $10,000 to develop, but Icon and New Story hope to eventually cut that cost to $4,000 per home. That's cheaper than the current $6,500 that it costs New Story to build a home using conventional methods.
Construction of the first 3-D printed community is expected to being next year in El Salvador.