3-D printed, biodegradable prototype dwelling unveiled in Italy

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In Italy, 3D printing studio WASP has unveiled a prototype house made from soil, rice products, and hydraulic lime. Dubbed Gaia, the 320-square-foot home was completed in ten days in the town of Massa Lombarda.

WASP intends for Gaia to serve as prototype for mass-produced, efficient structures that are biodegradable.

Using a 3D printer suspended from a crane, WASP deposited a mixture—25% percent soil, 40% chopped rice straw, 25% percent rice husk, and 10% hydraulic lime—as inner and outer walls. Rice husks were placed in between as insulation, and wooden columns were used as support on the interior of the structure.

“Gaia is a highly performing module both in terms of energy and indoor health, with almost zero environmental impact,” WASP tells The Architect’s Newspaper. “Printed in a few weeks, thanks to its masonry it does not need heating or an air conditioning system, as it maintains a mild and comfortable temperature both in winter and in summer.”