First 3D Printed Concrete Homes Project in the World

About Houben Van Architecten

Project Milestone

The Municipality of Eindhoven, TU Eindhoven and the companies Van Wijnen, Vesteda, Saint Gobain-Weber Beamix and Witteveen + Bos are going to realize the first habitable house that will roll straight out of the printer. The house will be the first of five houses of 3D-printed concrete, which will be placed in the Eindhoven new-build neighborhood Meerhoven in the coming years. The 3D printed concrete homes of the project, called Project Milestone, are realized one after the other, while research on technology remains in development.

Project Milestone can rightly be seen as a milestone for many reasons. Not only from the point of view of the technology and the builders, but also from the design, the municipality, the future occupant and the landlord. If the first occupant gets the key at the beginning of 2019, there is a home that meets all the comfort needs. Made sustainably and energy-efficient, but also a comfortable, light and quiet house. In a fantastic natural wooded area.


Ultimately, the project will have five 3D printed concrete homes, with both the printing technology and the design of the house becoming more and more complex. If the ground floor first home is printed off-site, the two-story fifth home will be manufactured entirely on-site. The development of the 3D concrete printing technique will therefore be beautifully perceptible. For the collaborating partners, however, Milestone is emphatically not an experiment. They see development as a major innovation that can be disruptive for the (housing) construction sector. After all, concrete is the most used building material in the world.

The design is not just like a house, the futuristic design has also succeeded in being timeless. The design results from the typical possibilities of the new technique. The 3D printing technique gives shape freedom, where traditional concrete is very rigid in shape. This freedom of form has been used here to make a design with which the houses naturally blend into their wooded surroundings, like boulders. As if the five buildings were abandoned and have always been in this wooded oasis.


The 3D printed concrete homes will be located in Bosrijk, in the Meerhoven district. Bosrijk is being developed as a 'sculpture garden', with high-quality, ambitious architectural projects placed as sculptures in a continuous landscape. This sculpture garden is not just to look at, but also to enjoy actively. The ultimate Forest Enthusiast is therefore not behind the geraniums in his home, but is an 'urban cowboy' or 'city nomad' who chooses his home as a base for a dynamic life full of work, recreation and nature experience in a particularly scenic environment.

High ambitions

The 3D printed concrete homes are realized one after the other, while research into technology remains in development. This means that every new home can benefit from advancing insights and knowledge. For example, the first detached house will become a single storey house that will be printed off-site. The next home must have two floors and be realized on-site. For the collaborating partners, however, Milestone is emphatically not an experiment. They see development as a major innovation that can be disruptive for the (housing) construction sector. After all, concrete is the most used building material in the world.

Special forms

In the development of Milestone, the partners have high ambitions in terms of spatial and architectural quality and in terms of sustainability, such as building natural gas. The special design of Houben / Van Mierlo architects - inspired by boulders in a green landscape - is a direct result of the possibilities that 3D concrete printing offers. This technique gives the freedom to make round and other unusual building forms where traditional concrete is rigid. That also means more opportunities to be able to deliver customized services for residents.

The five Eindhoven 3D printed concrete homes will actually be put into use, and that is a world first. This means, among other things, that the houses must comply with the applicable building regulations and the requirements that residents of the present place on matters such as layout, comfort, affordability and quality. In 2019, the first affordable 3D printed rental property will be habitable.

Assets in hands

Concrete has been the most used building material in the world for decades. Everyone is familiar with it, knows what it looks like, what it is used for and how it is processed. There is a change now in this familiar image. Since 2015, experiments have been done with 3D printing of concrete. That seems surprising at first sight, because the finesse that comes with printing does not match the plump character of concrete. Nevertheless, 3D-printed concrete has all kinds of advantages, which means it can have a great future.
Where necessary

One of those advantages is that the concrete printer has the ability to lay concrete only where it is needed constructively. Traditionally poured concrete is solid, and contains much more concrete than is needed constructively. As a result, more concrete is used, which is bad for CO2 emissions, because a lot of this greenhouse gas is released during the production of cement.

New forms

3D printing of a complicated shape in concrete is not more complicated or expensive for the printer than a straight form. This offers opportunities for design, efficiency and sustainability. With 3D concrete printing, very fine concrete structures are possible. In the traditional pouring of concrete, the formwork determines the final form of concrete. With concrete prints, builders will soon be able to make concrete details as small as a pea, and round, hollow or convex shapes. This makes concrete buildings and constructions with completely new forms possible.


A new option is the printing of different types, qualities and colors of concrete, all in one integrated product. This way, for example, a complete wall can be printed, with all necessary functionalities. Such a wall can be reinforced with fibers or iron wire or provided with an active insulating layer of concrete for the heat. It is also possible to print dirt-repellent concrete on the outside so that the façade remains clean. Or apply a layer on the inside that ensures pleasant acoustics. In addition, the required recesses and internal drains of watertight concrete can be applied directly. This makes the building process much more efficient and faster.

Another advantage is the ability to process individual customer requirements. After all, a different version entails few costs.

The 3D printing of concrete also creates the possibility to introduce smart components directly to the right place in the construction. Think of wireless sensors for temperature, lighting or security. These can be incorporated directly during the printing process, instead of afterwards. That saves time and money.

Concrete printing also has advantages for professionals. Traditional processing of concrete is heavy and demanding work. The vibration of poured concrete and the braiding of steel reinforcement nets is heavy. These activities are not necessary for 3D-printed concrete.

3D Concrete Printing Technology and Research Program

The start of 3D concrete printing technology for this project has its origins in 2005. In 2015, the original experiment will be followed up on a much larger scale.

Finally, the day has finally come in 2005. After two years of development and many trials, a wall with concrete mortar is successfully printed for the first time in the world in one operation. In two hours a construction of 3.5 meters long, more than 2 meters high and 15 cm wide is created from dry matter. Made with the High Tech Beamix mortar & equipment technology of that time and ... .. a hand-operated printer! 3D printing of concrete was born. But since the market demand did not materialize and nobody knew what else we could do with this, the project with the mortar disappeared in the refrigerator. It took another 10 years before the time and the market were ripe for this innovative technology.


Eindhoven University of Technology is launching the 3D Concrete Printing research program (3DCP) in 2015. To finance and support the 3DCP program, TU / e will find a group of contractors, building materials suppliers and engineering firms. Weber Beamix can not be missed in this selection. After all, the inventor of dry mortar not only involves the mortar technology, but also the knowledge and experience in the field of mechanization and pumping. The commissioning of the 3D concrete printer at the TU / e in October 2015 marks the restart of the 3D printing project for Weber Beamix. Due to the dimensions of the digitally controlled 3D printer, a print range of 9.0 x 4.5 x 3 meters (l x w x h) is achieved, making fantastic creations quickly.

But the partners want more than this. Fundamental research and experimentation must lead to predictability of the behavior of material and material, in varying circumstances. With the ultimate goal that constructive elements and constructions are made in a responsible manner.

3D Concrete Printing Technology

Living in Bosrijk

The 3D printed concrete homes are planned in Bosrijk. Bosrijk is a still to be developed residential location in Meerhoven, a new neighborhood in Eindhoven. During the development of Bosrijk, a high ambition has been set in the field of sustainability and spatial and architectural quality. This way the 3D printed concrete homes do not get a natural gas connection.

Sculpture garden In Bosrijk, it is in the middle of the Meerbos, Park Meerland and the Beatrix Canal, particularly green and landscape living. The existing landscape is the starting point for building development. The landscape has the leading role. Living within will be shaped as 'images in a sculpture garden'. The space around the 3D printed concrete homes is in fact the garden for the inhabitants of Bosrijk.

Out-of-the-box concept Cluster 16 is the place where a series of 3D-concrete printed houses will be realized in the coming years. Cluster 16 is a "mini" cluster within Bosrijk, belonging to one of the trendsetters of the new residential area. For this place the municipality of Eindhoven was looking for an out-of-the-box concept, which gives an innovative and explicit expression to the Bosrijk concept. The cluster is situated on a corner location along the Sliffertsestraat, the Bosfazant and the Bosuil and, because it is completely surrounded by trees, is a 'green room' in the landscape.

About Houben Van Architecten

Address: Gerard Philipslaan 71a, 5616 TV Eindhoven
Phone: 040 236 78 58


Project website
Apartment Therapy

First 3D Printed Concrete Homes in the World