Robots have built housing in Switzerland

A team of experts from a Swiss university have created the first habitable building designed and planned by using a variety of digital fabrication methods.

The DFAB House was developed by experts from ETH University as well as 30 industry partners over the course of four years.

Located close to Zurich, the construction of the building used 60% less cement than would usually be required. The building has three levels with 3D-printed ceilings, energy-efficient walls, timber beams which were assembled by robots on site and an intelligent home system.

 Suddenly how we use resources to build our habitats is at the centre of architecture. How you build matters.

“This is a new way of seeing architecture,” says Matthias Kohler, a member of the DFAB research team.

 “Suddenly how we use resources to build our habitats is at the centre of architecture. How you build matters.”

This is the latest attempt of a string of projects using digital fabrication methods we’ve seen. Back in 2014,  WinSun used 3D printing to manufacture 10 single-story houses in one day before printing an apartment building and a mansion a year later.

There is a growing effort within the industry to make construction more sustainable. The Architects' Journal have launched their 'RetroFirst' camapign with the aim of changing government policies to encourage projects to be environmetally friendly. 

Rob Charlton, bimstore's co-founder, has also written about the importance of creative re-use.  He believes that as well as being a more sustainable alternative to building new developments, creatiove re-use can also help with the wider regeneration of a project's local area - bringing its own set of economic benefits with it. 

Plans for roaming 3D printers have also recently been revealed as being under development by a team of Danish developers. The printers will be able to work in a variety of environments by identifying and resolving structural issues as they come across them. 

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