Plurial Novilia shows how 3D printed prototype walls can be used for building rental homes

French social housing construction company Plurial Novilia has created 3D printed prototype walls for its ViliaSprint project

French social housing company Plurial Novilia, a subsidiary of Action Logement group, has created 3D-printed prototype walls for its ViliaSprint project. 

Plurial Novilia is also known for building 37000 housing units in Champagne-Ardenne and Ile-de-France (Seine-et-Marne and Essonne). The VillaSprint project was launched last year with the goal of 3D printing a two-storey building in Bezannes, France. The project started by identifying Holcim’s premises near Döttingen (Switzerland) for the construction of these houses in September 2023 and the subsequent 3D printing of four prototype walls of 2.5 meters in height and 3 meters in length by the PERI Group. 

The completion of 3D-printed walls

Now, the company has reached an important milestone with the completion of these 3D-printed prototype walls. This new advancement will expand the horizons of additive manufacturing applications in the construction industry. 

These 3D-printed prototype walls built according to the actual configuration of the final project cleared all tests carried out between April and August in Switzerland. The tests subjected the 3D printed parts to various mechanical stress and pressure points to analyse its compression, bending and other impact resistance. Another critical aspect of the clearance was to check the low-carbon concrete developed by Holcim to ensure its printability. 

Once the mechanical resistance tests were done, the 3D printed prototype walls had to pass structural tests for 3D printing certification along with fire resistance tests which were completed in line with Reims-based landlord’s schedule. 

Next step

Plurial Novilia will now proceed to study 3D-printed concrete structures and prepare for the Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment or CSTB certification scheduled to be completed in the next 18 months

To compare the timescale, durability and the team effort of adopting additive manufacturing technology during the construction and the occupation phase, Plurial Novilia is making a second building using traditional methods on the site. 

Once the 3D printed prototype walls of the ViliaSprint project are completed, Plurial Novilia plans to concentrate its efforts on exploring more concrete 3D printing opportunities including building a two-storey apartment block with 12 homes and 800 square meters of living space in Bezannes. In the ViliaSprint project, five houses will be built using Additive Manufacturing technology. 

The 3D concrete walls in the upcoming project will be directly printed on-site using PERI Group’s 3D printer and Holcim’s concrete material which is used by many 3D construction companies like COBOD.  Concrete materials are widely used in construction 3D printing including creating 200-meter-high 3D printed bases for wind turbines. To address the bottleneck of on-site 3D printing of walls at such heights, the company will deploy a mobile gantry system while in the ViliaSprint project, ATEx (Appréciation Technique Expérimentale) certification from the CSTB was used to insure the rental homes.   

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