Homeless numbers keep climbing in almost every country in the world. For different reasons, way too many people find themselves in the position of not being able to provide adequate housing for themselves and their families.
While community shelters are available, there simply aren't enough beds for the number of people that need them. Many people end up living on the streets or, if they are lucky, in their cars. While some communities are trying to find ways to help these unfortunate people, many areas simply turn their backs on this epidemic and ignore the reality of what is happening to their fellow human beings. As our struggling economy continues to pose sometimes insurmountable challenges to many people in our society, we, luckily, have organizations that are seeking new and innovative ways to provide affordable housing options for lower income people. This video unveils one particularly innovative solution to this ever-growing problem.
Icon, a startup company based in Austin, has found a way to design and build a habitable dwelling for less than four thousand dollars total. As amazing as this sounds, this could possibly be something that could help the 1.2 billion people that are homeless around the world. Icon has taken advantage of the latest technological advances and developed a computer program that can interpret the basic blueprint for a small home and then literally print the home into reality.
They have combined manufacturing advances creating their Vulcan printer and have managed to develop a computer program that can actually construct a house based on the predetermined parameters. The printer is actually the building constructor. Instead of printing on paper, it is actually printing building materials into reality. The result is basically a 3D printed house that can be constructed in less that one day. These small homes, about 650 square feet, have efficiently designed rooms and even a covered porch area. While the technology is still in the development phase, it may soon be a viable solution to provide adequate housing around the world.
Icon has partnered with New Story, a world-wide nonprofit organization focused on finding housing for the homeless. New Store has, most recently, been helping the residents of beleaguered Haiti after the 2010 earthquakes ravaged their homeland and left many homeless. The partnership plans to debut their new houses in El Salvador with a goal of building 100 homes in the next 18 months. While the prototyping is still being completed, they recently displayed their model home in SWSW complete with a living room, bathroom, bedroom, and porch. The printer was able to construct everything except the roof, which was built on the Icon lot. The homes currently cost around $10,000 to build from start to finish. Once the development phase is completed, they are certain that they will be able to produce them for $4,000. Icon is still tweaking some of the intricate details of their program. Once everything is operationally efficient, they will be relocating their printer to El Salvador to begin building homes for the people in need. This revolutionary construction development could be a Godsend for needy families around the world.