Construction company ICON has been contracted to build 3D-printed buildings as training barracks for the US military, the Department of Defense has announced.
The defense department and the construction startup will partner to print the structures, each measuring 5,700 square feet (530 square meters), using advanced 3D printing technology.
“Constructing facilities using this cutting-edge technology saves labor costs, reduces planning time, and increases the speed of construction of future facilities,” Army Lt. Gen. Doug Gabram said in a statement.
“We are looking at other ways to use this innovative technique for rapid construction of other types of facilities beyond barracks,” Gabram added.
The barracks will take over 10 months to build. Once completed, they will be the largest 3D-printed structures in the country.
The barracks will be located at Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas.
ICON Collaboration With US Military
Currently, the largest 3D-printed building in the US was constructed by the Texas Military Department, which built 3,800 square feet (353 square meters) barracks last year, in collaboration with ICON.
The company used a large Vulcan printer system and high-strength concrete, known as “Lavacrete,” to construct the 72-bunk barracks.
Lavacrete can resist extreme weather, reduce the impact of disasters, and has a compressive strength of 2,000-3,500 pounds (907-1,588 kilograms) per square inch.