Virginia mom and son move into the first-ever 3D printed Habitat for Humanity house in the US

April Stringfield moved in with her 13-year old son in Virginia four days before Christmas. And it’s not just another house—it’s the first-ever 3D printed home in the country by Habitat for Humanity!

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on December 21st, 2021 to mark the occasion. The home has three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. It is located in Williamsburg’s subdivision.

Despite it being chilly, many people showed up to celebrate this joyous occasion with their families.

Habitat for Humanity

Participants included representatives from Habitat for Humanity International, volunteers, supporters and elected and public officials. Media and local businesses were also present.

Concrete was used instead of lumber to print exterior walls in this innovative house.

“My son and I are so thankful,” April said during her speech as she wiped away tears of joy. “I always wanted to be a homeowner. It’s a dream come true.”

April had to complete 300 hours of volunteer work in order to qualify for the Habitat Homebuyer Program. This is also known as sweat equity. She spent part of her time helping on the construction site crew, while the rest were recorded at the Williamsburg Habitat ReStore.

April Stringfield and her 13-year-old son during the ribbon cutting ceremony for their new 3D home
Habitat for Humanity

April, who worked full-time at a hotel for five year, will pay the Habitat affiliate the no-interest mortgage. The funds will be used in the construction of future homes for eligible families.

Janet V. Green, the CEO of Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg, stressed that Habitat doesn’t give homes away.

“We sell homes to families with low to moderate incomes,” she explained in a news release.

To qualify for Habitat homebuyers, they must meet several criteria. They must have income between 45 and 80% of the area median income, be able to afford their Habitat home, and good credit standing.

April Stringfield and Janet V. Green, the CEO of Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg
Habitat for Humanity

Habitat homeowners can pay for their mortgage at zero interest for 20 up to 30 years.

Habitat for Humanity Peninsula, Greater Williamsburg, and Alquist, an 3D printing company, collaborated to start construction in July.

It took the crew only 28 hours to print the 1,200 square foot home—saving them roughly four weeks of construction time for a regular house.

A concrete post in Habitat for Humanity's first-ever 3D printed home in the US
Habitat for Humanity

Alquist used concrete to build the walls, which saved him approximately 15% on his building costs. Concrete retains heat better than other materials, which allows homeowners to save on cooling and heating costs. It’s also more resistant to natural disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes.

After April and her son move into the 3D-printed home, solar panels will be installed. This will ensure that the family has low utility bills and no compromise on comfort.

“What you see…is four years of blood, sweat and tears of figuring out how to make this happen,” said Zachary Mannheimer, Founder and CEO of Alquist. “Virginia is the leader in 3D printing home construction, hands down.”

April Stringfield, her son, and other attendees during the ribbon cutting ceremony for Habitat of Humanity's first-ever 3D home in the US
Habitat for Humanity

Alquist installs a 3D printer inside every house it builds. April will be provided with a downloadable file that she can use to create everything from cabinet knobs to light switch covers.

“I’m excited to make new memories in Williamsburg and especially in a house, a home,” April told WTKR. “Some place I can call home and give my son that backyard that he can play in and also for my puppy to run around the yard.”

While this is Habitat for Humanity’s first 3D home in the US, it certainly won’t be the last.

“We would love to build more with this technology, especially because it’s got that long-term savings for the homeowners,” Green said.

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