Kamp C, a centre for construction sustainability and innovation in Westerlo, Belgium, has produced on its premises what it says is the world’s first house to be 3-D printed in one piece.

The 90-m2 model dwelling was created using a modular Construction of Buildings on Demand (COBOD) 3-D printer, the largest of its kind in Europe. The 8-m tall, two-storey house is the average size of a terraced house in the municipality (which is in the province of Antwerp and the region of Flanders).


       THE BOD

The goal of this project was to demonstrate how 3D printing technology could be applied in the traditional construction industry in Europe.The idea for the project came from our participation in the Danish government-funded project “3D Construction Printing”, during which we visited more than 35 3D construction printing projects worldwide. We realized that Europe was falling behind, and we took on the challenge to be the first in Europe to 3D print a building fulfilling the strict building codes of Europe.



“What makes this house unique is we printed it with a fixed 3-D concrete printer,” explains Emiel Ascione, project manager. “Other 3-D printed houses around the world only have one floor and, in many cases, their components were printed in a factory and then assembled on-site. We printed the entire building envelope in one piece on-site.”

The house was built as part of the European ‘co-creation 3-D printing with companies’ (C3PO) project, with financing from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), in the hope of raising interest within the construction industry about the use of 3-D concrete printing techniques.




“Several possibilities, including the printing of provisional housing and even complete apartments, are already being implemented, but this technology is still very novel in Flanders,” says Kathleen Helsen, president of Kamp C and provincial deputy for housing. “That is why we created this unique location on our site, where construction companies can experiment, together with research and education institutions.”

The printed house’s material provides compressive strength that is reportedly three times sturdier than a house constructed conventionally with quick-build bricks, so the amount of wire-mesh reinforcement is minimal and formwork is redundant. Researchers will check whether this solidity is retained over time.

“We also eliminated cold thermal bridges altogether,” says Ascione. “We developed a low-energy house with all the modern conveniences, including floor and ceiling heating, solar panels and a heat pump. We will also be adding a green roof.”

It took three weeks to print the house, which will be open to visitors by appointment starting in September. In the future, Kamp C predicts, an entire house could be printed in less than two days.


Source: Canadian Consulting Engineer



Visitors to Greenwich can now catch a glimpse into the future of social housing, with the unveiling this week of four zero-carbon council homes in the South London borough.

The homes are fitted with individual air source heat pumps and solar panels and have been designed to exceed net-zero carbon standards, meaning they are capable of delivering energy back to the grid.

Moreover, the homes boast have an EPC rating well above the highest category of A. Currently, just one per cent of UK new builds are A rated, while the average rating is D.




The homes were manufactured by modular housing firm ilke Homes at their factory in Yorkshire. ilke Homes draws on the latest digital technologies – such as Building Information Modelling, which creates a digital copy of homes so that their energy performance can be modelled – to improve the airtightness and quality of home design.

The four council eco-homes were then craned into place and installed in Robert Street, Woolwich, following enabling works carried out by engineering giant ENGIE, which included the demolition of the existing site, substructure work, and utility connections.

“Rather than using carbon offsetting schemes, which is a common occurrence when the industry talks about net-zero, all the carbon savings are achieved by the technologies of the homes themselves,” said Matthew Bench, executive director of partnerships at ilke Homes.

The new homes are part of Greenwich Council’s drive to meet its twin pledges to deliver 750 new council homes and reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. The council declared a climate emergency earlier this year, while acknowledging the scale of the challenge it faces it if to match the Mayor’s aspiration to make London carbon neutral by 2030 – two decades ahead of the UK’s national target. The council estimates that its homes are responsible for 20 per cent of emissions in the borough – with the cost of retrofitting them all around the £1bn mark.

“These high-quality and sustainable council homes are the first of 750 we’ll be delivering across the borough as part of our Greenwich Builds programme,” said Royal Borough of Greenwich Cabinet Member for Housing Cllr Anthony Okereke.

“Addressing the shortage of social housing is a top priority for the Council and we’re delighted that Robert Street, our pilot Greenwich Builds development, is now ready for local families to move in.”

His comments were echoed by Simon Lacey, regional managing director for ENGIE’s places and communities south division, who said the new homes were “a step change for Greenwich and will provide more affordable housing in their borough”.

“As the world leader in carbon reduction and renewable energy, ENGIE is poised to continue working with our partners to deliver similar schemes over the coming years and play an integral part in making zero carbon happen,” he added.


Source: Business Green


NHBC, the leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes in the UK, has launched a new service dedicated to the rapidly growing area of Modern Methods of Construction.

NHBC Accepts is an all-inclusive, end-to-end service that will help to build confidence in innovative construction and enable MMC systems to be fast-tracked for NHBC warranty.



As part of the new service, detailed and robust technical reviews at key stages will result in provision of a certificate (and acceptance for NHBC warranty), usage licence for a bespoke NHBC Accepts logo and website listing.

NHBC has been a long-standing supporter of innovation within construction and their experienced MMC team will be offering a personalised approach via various channels and dedicated touchpoints, providing added value and confidence.

NHBC’s Innovation Manager, Richard Lankshear said: “The case for innovative forms of construction has strengthened and, as housebuilding resumes, the drive to transform construction is accelerated.

“We expect to see more innovative construction solutions emerge over coming years and NHBC’s thorough and rigorous approach to new MMC systems will help bring benefits to manufacturers, developers and builders.

“All new homes across the UK that are covered by NHBC’s Buildmark warranty are inspected at key stages during construction by our directly employed and highly skilled team of more than 350 inspectors. An NHBC Accepts certificate is a way of demonstrating that innovative products or systems have already been reviewed thus reducing the risk of delays on site.

“NHBC Accepts will play a critical role in ensuring developers, manufacturers, lenders and consumers have faith and confidence in MMC quality as the industry delivers more innovative new homes for the country.

Chief Executive of Cast Consultancy and author of the Farmer Review of the construction industry, Mark Farmer, added: “I welcome the launch of NHBC Accepts. It’s a step forward that sees the UK market leader in warranty and insurance for new homes making its commitment to high quality modern methods of construction clear.”


For more information, please visit www.nhbc.co.uk/accepts






The Hong Kong Institute of Architects has announced the winning design of the HKIA Young Architect Award. The competition theme centered on affordable housing and asked local architects aged 35 or below to propose innovative and unique design proposals for local housing. Arnold Yok Fai Wong’s winning design reimagines the adaptability, livability and build-ability of affordable housing through modular construction in urban air space.




Titled “Modular & Inter-generational Community”, the winning design examines Hong Kong’s condition with limited land to build upon. Learning from New York City’s air rights, the proposal is located at the end of the Island East Corridor (IEC) to make use of the unused air space beneath the highway. The proposal anticipates promoted air rights through bonus floor area and exemption of site area as an incentive for developers. Assuming two floors and 80% of the air space below the Island East Corridor is suitable for construction, around 1,300 residential units could be built underneath.



The project is made to “fully explore the potential of the MiC together with the introduction of the first Suspended Modular Integrated Construction (SMiC) to work with air rights by suspending under bridges.” The construction would start by completing three main structural cores using slip-form construction before installing MiC with six programmatic modules. The dense tower is made to provide a pedestrian-friendly horizontal streetscape for the community and embrace a human scale by creating The Social Valley, a central hub that promotes diverse social opportunities with various active and passive programs.


Source: Arch Daily


Premier Modular, one of the UK’s leading offsite construction specialists, has appointed David Harris as Managing Director.

Premier Modular, one of the UK’s leading offsite construction specialists, has appointed David Harris as Managing Director. His appointment follows the retirement of Eugenio de Sa after more than 20 years in the business and who remains as Executive Chairman until the end of 2020.

With over 20 years’ experience in the offsite sector, David has been a Director of Premier since 2011 when he joined to lead its permanent offsite construction division. In 2018 he became Divisional Director with responsibility for Premier’s modular hire business.

One of David’s career highlights was leading negotiations to secure the £50 million contract for the provision of 38,000m2 of office and welfare accommodation for the Hinkley Point C project. This was awarded to Premier and is the company’s largest project to date, involving the offsite manufacture and installation of 900+ modules. The unions working on the nuclear power station site have since recognised the welfare accommodation as the best in Europe.

Commenting on the restructuring, David Harris, said:

“Eugenio is leaving a fantastic legacy. His leadership, commitment and passion for the business have made Premier the force it is today.”

“Our financial performance is one of the strongest in the offsite sector. We have achieved significant growth in the last eight years, taking Premier to a £65m turnover business. We have increased market share in our core sectors – commercial, industrial, education, and healthcare – and are diversifying into new markets such as residential. We are also expanding into new geographical areas, for example building on the success of our hire business in London to supply construction site accommodation to contractors across the UK.”

“Key to our success has been our extremely flexible approach. We offer a full range of design, offsite manufacturing, fitting out and construction services to both contractors and clients. We are also committed to innovation and are developing new building products for hire to meet evolving customer needs.”

“We have a clear vision and strategy for the next phase in our growth and have ambitious plans to increase turnover to £100m in three years, providing a healthy return for shareholders.”

Eugenio de Sa, said, “We are delighted that David is taking full responsibility for leading Premier and for the continued delivery of our strategic growth plan. This is a really exciting phase in the history of the business which is one of the longest established and most successful offsite specialists in the UK.”

“David’s appointment gives us fantastic continuity and he brings a wealth of industry and leadership experience to the role. He is supported by an outstanding management team.”

Premier provides interim modular buildings and bespoke offsite solutions to fulfil almost any application, site and design. It has manufactured buildings for more than 60 years from its head office and production centre in East Yorkshire, and is part of Waco International, a highly successful global industrial services business.

For further information call 0800 316 0888 or email info@premiermodular.co.uk.

At the peak of the Alberta’s oil boom in the early 2010s, Horizon North Logistics Inc. couldn’t turn out work trailers and lodges quickly enough. Its manufacturing facilities were kept humming, putting together thousands of camp rooms destined for the Fort McMurray area or other remote project hubs.

But as crude prices plunged at the end of 2014 and the flow of workers heading north dried up, the company was forced to adapt. Taking stock of its capabilities, it shifted some of its focus from temporary workforce accommodations to permanent buildings.

“We changed out the nature of our quality, our cost structure, our software, architectural designs, the quality of the sales strategy we had, the balance sheets — and effectively converted what I’d characterize as a trailer manufacturing plant into a de facto auto plant,” says Rod Graham, Horizon North’s president and CEO.

Bringing experts from major carmakers aboard to optimize floor space and fine-tune quality, the company established the foundation for its modular construction business. Despite its track record with trailers and lodges, the transition wasn’t easy.

“Just because you can build a camp or an office trailer, doesn’t mean that you can actually build some space that’s got a commercial application,” Graham says.

“If you think about camps, effectively all the time is spent on the inside of the envelope. So, really, it was about having folks feel really good about the bedroom they were in, or feel really good about the kitchen they were getting food from, but really no thought to the exterior aesthetics of what the building looks like.”

That interior-only dynamic has changed dramatically as the company has pushed into the nascent markets for multi-unit modular builds. Today, Horizon North operates plants in Kamloops, B.C., Calgary and Grimsby, Ont., and is seeing increased demand for student, senior and affordable housing.

The Calgary-based company’s journey from work camps to modular isn’t exactly typical for the building industry, but it reflects the widespread momentum for off-site construction. Many traditional on-site contractors are also embracing the controlled environments and lucrative timeline savings offered by modular plants.

According to research conducted by On-Site last month, more than half of the largest builders in the country are either considering or already moving into off-site construction.

Just over 13 per cent of the more than 100 large Canadian contractors surveyed aim to move as much work off-site as possible in the coming years. One-fifth are shifting to modular, but only for certain aspects of projects, and another 20 per cent are considering it, but awaiting for analysis into the pros and cons. About 40 per cent, on the other hand, see modular as unrealistic for their scope of work. 


The A-Linx system is designed to provide a building’s entire superstructure, simplifying the building process. PHOTO: A-Linx

The A-Linx system is designed to provide a building’s entire superstructure, simplifying the building process. PHOTO: A-Linx

Amico Infrastructures Inc. is one of the traditional contractors expanding into the modular space. Through its A-Linx Building Technologies subsidiary, the company opened a manufacturing facility adjacent to its headquarters outside Windsor, Ont. four years ago. It’s since put up a handful of multi-unit residential projects, primarily seniors’ homes, across southwestern Ontario.

“The future is bright, obviously, with this construction because not only does it save time, it saves money overall when it comes to speed of construction.” says Dave Hunter, the senior manager of business development with A-Linx.

Like Horizon North, the company has looked to the auto industry as the basis for its manufacturing. Before landing at A-Linx, Matt Pellitteri, the company’s plant manager, took on a range of roles at the Windsor Chrysler plant, which builds the Pacifica minivan. With a background in lean manufacturing, Pellitteri applies this low-waste, high-optimization approach to building the company’s load-bearing wall systems.

The light-gauge steel panels are manufactured similarly to how you’d build an engine at a sub-assembly plant, he says.

“All these parts are introduced into a framing table,” Pellitteri says. “Inversely, if you were in the field and you were doing it with wood, you would have a guy with a saw, he’d be cutting it piece by piece and he’d be building it up while all our pieces are sub-assembled and introduced into a panel.”

One of the main draws of the A-Linx system is its ability to provide the entire superstructure.

“We can go in there and we can go from footings to roof and not many other outfits are providing that right now,” Pellitteri says. “That’s what people are gravitating toward. One trade, one quote, you’re getting your flooring system, your load-bearing interior and exterior walls, shafts and we coordinate the structure steel as well.”

With its manufacturing base in Oldcastle, Ont., the company is targeting the Ontario market, and looking to jump the river into Michigan and other nearby states. As in other industries, ground transportation for modular construction can become cost inhibitive as you ship farther afield.

With this in mind, Bird Construction Inc. is taking a different approach. In 2017 it acquired a 50 per cent stake in Stack Modular Structures Ltd., which manufactures its turnkey structural steel building modules in China and then ships them across the Pacific.

Andy Berube, vice-president of sales and marketing at Stack Modular, said its plant in Shanghai lets it leverage the global supply chain while keeping transportation costs consistent for cities across the west coast of North America — from San Diego to Anchorage.

Like other modular companies, Berube says the market has been growing rapidly as architects, developers and contractors become more receptive to off-site construction.

“I would say, over the last two years, maybe a little bit more, the interest has been escalating ten-fold,” he says, pointing to affordable housing projects in Vancouver and other areas on the Pacific coast as particularly promising.

Given Bird Construction’s stake in the company, Stack Modular can take care of on-site installation in-house, but will also partner with other contractors on stacking the modules and finalizing the projects by connecting the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

It’s a similar situation at Horizon North, which typically executes design-builds — taking projects from design, through estimating, engineering, manufacturing, transportation and installation.

According to Joe Kiss, Horizon North’s president of Modular Solutions, the company’s niche is primarily multi-storey projects, with a focus on hotels, student, senior and affordable housing. But its products run the gamut.

“We do everything from a small parking kiosk where you would pay for your parking as you exited the parkade, to a lot of specialty applications like convenience stores, for instance, Petro Canadas and A&Ws,” he says.

Component work is also common for modular builders.

PCL Construction, for instance, has begun manufacturing wall panels, washroom pods and several other products at off-site facilities. The components are shipped to job sites to complement and speed up the conventional construction process.

In the case of a washroom pod, concrete crews on-site leave a depression for the module as they pour the slab, while pre-fab teams at the modular plant assemble the washroom. Schedules are aligned so the finished pod arrives at the job site in time to be integrated. The method allows contractors to slim down on the number of workers needed on-site and build in a controlled environment.

“As we’ve had more cases come together, more projects built with this model, across North America, across the globe, people are really jumping on that,” says Troy Galvin, manager of PCL’s Agile plant in the Toronto suburbs.

While the shift to modular and prefabrication has been underway for several years, the COVID-19 crisis looks likely to accelerate the trend.

Prior to the pandemic, Galvin was anticipating blistering growth in off-site construction of around 300 per cent over the next three years. Now, he says the emphasis on speed and the need to limit the size of on-site crews will push the modular market to as much as five-times its current size.

The shop floor at a PCL modular facility. The company produces a range of building components and complete structures at its off-site operations. PHOTO: PCL


“A lot of this is about speed to market and through the pandemic, he says. “It’s really highlighted [the mentality that], ‘Hey we need infrastructure fast, we need it now, what do you have existing in your fleet or how quickly can you build us something?’”

At the same time, modular plants with fixed washrooms and no weather are more conducive to some of the health regulations builders have adopted to stop the spread of the virus than many job sites, Galvin says.

Similarly, Kiss says many of the problems the COVID crisis has created fall “into the wheelhouse” of off-site construction.

“Modular is definitely a pretty good tool in the toolbox in terms of responding to the crisis both in the near-term, medium-term and long-term,” he says.

But it’s not the only catalyst, he adds.

“There’s other trends beyond COVID that are doing that,” he says. “Just the very nature of having to build buildings more efficiently and more cost effectively, and quicker and with more cost predictability and cost certainty. Those are driving factors as well.”


Source: Offsite



Just over a month before much of the world went into lockdown, at the 50th World Economic Forum in Davos, session after session was devoted to tackling the climate crisis.

It’s no wonder. This century has seen 19 of the hottest years ever recorded. In the past year, wildfires ravaged Australia and Brazil, while Arctic sea ice levels reached a record low. Failure to tackle climate change will do untold damage to our societies, economies and ecosystems.

But efforts to avert this catastrophe are under way. Electric cars, renewable energy and industrial-scale recycling are now common as the world adapts in the hope of creating a net-zero economy, which the UK government is legally bound to achieve by 2050.

Investment in environmental, social and governance funds has mirrored this trend, rising nearly two thirds last year in Europe to €668bn (£598bn) worth of assets.

For real estate investors, being ‘greener’ requires a complete change in attitude and willingness to accept innovation. Construction has lagged behind the automobile and energy industries in this respect. We are mostly still building houses as we did 30 to 40 years ago, with huge energy inefficiencies and ballooning carbon emissions. The built environment contributes around 40% of the UK’s total carbon footprint, according to the UK Green Building Council.

But we can’t just stop building to lower emissions, especially considering the fact we’re in the midst of a housing crisis. According to Savills, annual housing delivery in the UK needs to increase by 24% a year to meet government targets.

Last year, we received a £30m investment from Homes England to boost our factory’s production capacity. This May, it commissioned a study to test the performance of factory-built housing and provide verifiable data so that informed decisions can be made about emerging construction technologies.

With the government championing modern methods of construction, more investors are likely to follow suit.

Off the production line

Offsite manufacturing, where homes are built along a production line in a factory, can create huge carbon savings in both embodied carbon emissions and operational carbon, which is the energy used once built. This is vital for investors looking to future-proof assets against tightening energy-efficiency regulations. As part of the Future Homes Standard, which is not expected to be fully consulted on until 2024, the government has outlined plans to reduce carbon emissions from homes by almost a third.

For offsite manufacturers like us, energy efficiency is at the heart of what we do. Precision-engineering techniques and state-of-the-art technology allow homes to be built to be at least a third more energy-efficient than traditionally built homes.

We can deliver zero-carbon homes with an Energy Performance Certificate rating of A, putting them in the top 0.1% of British homes for energy efficiency. To reach net-zero energy targets, these homes must become the norm, not the exception.

Digital technology such as building information modelling (BIM) allows us to generate precise estimates of materials needed for each home, so we can reduce waste and so that 97% of what is produced can be recycled.

The race is on to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, but for UK plc to meet it – and we can – innovative methods of housebuilding must sit at the heart of investors’ plans. Now is the time to be stepping up efforts to collect data-led evidence that demonstrates to investors the huge benefits derived from building homes in factories.






Dave Sheridan is executive chairman of ilke Homes




Source: Property Week


To explore the possibilities of mud architecture, Rael San Fratello has created 3D-printed prototypes that take cues from historical earthen construction built along the Rio Grande river.

Led by architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello, Rael San Fratello created four mud structures as part of its Emerging Objects investigative series into 3D printing.

The project called Mud Frontiers resulted in 3D-printed designs – Hearth, Beacon, Lookout and Kiln – that the studio believes could help to provide solutions for more affordable construction.


The structures take cues from the origins of the Rio Grande watershed in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, formerly the edge of the US-Mexico before 1848. Here, traditions from Ancestral Pueblo cultures date back to 700 CE and the Indo-Hispano cultures of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado date back to 1598.

The Emerging Objects team began by researching processes typical to the area, such as hand-modelled earthen structures, and mud and pottery that harvest clay from Sangre de Christo and San Juan mountains. They then worked with 3D ceramic print company 3D Potter to make a small portable robot called Potterbot XLS-1 to print designs on the sites they sourced soils.

“What we learned was really how accessible, robust, and powerful it was to print large scale structures so quickly using the soil just beneath our feet” Rael told Dezeen.

“We discovered work flows for printing, material mixture processes, structural applications, and theories about new and old ways of living and designing for the future using humankind’s most humble material.”

Hearth comprises a thin mud-wall reinforced with rot-resistant juniper wood.

The sticks are used to join two walls together and protrude on the outside of the structure but are hidden inside – a relationship the architect likens to the “cultural differences between the architectural traditions of pueblo and Indo-Hispano buildings”. A curling mud bench wraps the inside of the tiny enclosure to meet a fireplace in the middle where juniper wood is burned.

Beacon was created to find a way to use a coiling mudwork to make the wall as thin as possible. Lights illuminate the indentations along wall at night time to give the structure its name.

Lookout, meanwhile, uses coils to create a staircase. “A dense network of undulating mud coils is laid out to create a structure that can be walked upon,” Rael added. The design also lays mud piping inside the walls into cross-shapes that can be used to create pockets of air that bolster the insulative properties of the designs.

“This also demonstrates how wide, yet, airy walls, can create interior enclosures that represent possibilities for insulation, especially in the harsh climate of the San Luis Valley that can drop below -20 degrees fahrenheit in the winter,” Rael said.

Kiln forms a culmination of a number of findings, including the coiling and criss-crossing mudwork, and adds a kiln for firing the 3D-printed vessels. The locally sourced juniper wood is are fired with juniper wood that give it a range of textures and hues.

“The products of the kiln, fired micaceous clay learning from the traditions of Taos and Picuris Pueblos, are hybrids of technology and technique,” said Rael.

“Emerging Objects explores these frontiers of technology and material using traditional materials (clay, water, and wheat straw), to push the boundaries of sustainable and ecological construction in a two phase project that explores traditional clay craft at the scale of architecture and pottery,” Rael said.

“The end goal of this endeavour is to demonstrate low-cost and low-labour construction that is accessible, economical and safe is possible.”

A particular highlight of the history is coil pottery, which uses layers of clay ribbons to form pieces.

Playing with this technique, the team made 170 vessels featuring varying bulges and markings – using the Potterbot to print the vessels with a ceramic 3D-printing software. It then developed the process to create a larger, 3D-printed adobe construction resembling series of bulging, rope-like threads from local clay.

“Excavated pit houses and above ground adobe structures defined the architecture of the Mogollon and by AD 400 this region witnessed the development of a distinctive, indigenous coil-and-scrape pottery tradition known as EI Paso Brownware,” said Rael.

Mud Frontiers by Emerging Objects was initiated in response to an article in the Smithsonian magazine called “40 Things You Need to Know About the Next 40 Years”. Number one in the list stated that “Sophisticated buildings will be made of mud”.

As part of the project, Rael San Fratello were testing a portable robot that they had created,

It was used to print the mud walls in varying patterns that related to traditional techniques


Other projects that have similarly experimented with mud construction include a biodegradable house created by 3D-printing technology developer WASP from soil and agricultural waste. French architect Stephanie Chaltiel, meanwhile, developed a prototype for emergency homes that is formed from a domed lattice sprayed with a mixture of clay and fibre using a drone.

Rael, an architecture professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and San Fratello, who is also an associate professor of design at San José State University,  established Rael San Fratello as an architectural research studio.

The studio gained international media attention earlier this year when it installed three pink seesaws in between the metal slats of the US-Mexico border wall, so that children on either side can play together.

Photography is by Rael San Fratello.


The worldwide 3D Printing Materials Market is expected to reach $4.03 billion by 2025,

at a CAGR of 20.7% during the forecast period of 2019 to 2025.

3D printing is one of the fastest growing technologies and is being rapidly adopted for manufacturing and other applications by various industries. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures organization, five important industries that have the greatest potential to be transformed by 3D printing in the next 5 to 10 years from 2017 include Heavy Industry, Automotive, Consumer Products, Healthcare and Medical, and Aerospace.

3D printing technology has been evolving faster than other manufacturing technologies as it can influence manufacturing processes and help businesses perform to a higher level. Further, 3D printing manufacturing line is easier to alter than the production line for traditional manufacturing. This makes it preferable for the bulk equipment manufacturing processes. Due to this advantage, industries such as aerospace, construction, and automotive have started adopting this technology aggressively.

The key players operating in the global 3D printing materials market are Stratasys, Ltd. (Israel), Proto Labs, Inc. (U.S), 3D Systems, Inc. (U.S), Materialise NV (Belgium), The ExOne Company (U.S), The Hewlett Packard Company (U.S), EnvisionTEC Inc., (U.S), Evonik Industries AG (Germany), EOS GmbH (Germany), Zortrax (Poland), Markforged Inc., (U.S), Sculpteo- a BASF Company (France), Tethon 3D (U.S), and Arkema S.A. (France) among others.

Sources: Dezeen  –  Meticulous Research

Off-site eco developer Project Etopia recently announced the acquisition of self-build specialist Tribus Homes.

Last year, the two firms formed a partnership under the ‘E-Tribus’ banner, but Project Etopia has now bought the company, including its manufacturing facility in Devon.

Tribus Homes was created to help people build their dream homes. To start with, the firm employed timber frames, but later progressed to using the same Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) used by Project Etopia.

These can be fitted with Project Etopia’s smart home technology — including lighting and ventilation — as well as Etopia’s Energy+ configuration, which generates and stores electricity.

Located just outside Tiverton in Devon, the Tribus manufacturing facility is capable of producing 200 homes a year. Etopia plans to use this factory to showcase the kind of micro manufacturing facility that can be set up around the country to support councils in their house-building ambitions using off-site technology.

These factories, set to be smaller than Etopia’s 2,000-a-year capacity unit in Ellesmere Port, can be set up in six to nine months.

In recent years, self-builds have become more popular as house prices have continued to soar and people have struggled to find the homes they want in the right areas.

Lee McArdle, who co-founded Tribus Homes, will remain its managing director, and a rebranding process will begin this year.

Joseph Daniels, chief executive of Project Etopia, said: “We are delighted to formally bring Tribus Homes under the Etopia banner. This acquisition means we can use Tribus Homes’ manufacturing facility in Devon to produce up to 200 new homes a year in the South West without needing to transport goods around the country, making developments much more sustainable.”

He added: “The factory is a prime example of how a number of satellite, small-scale facilities can be positioned around the country to create local jobs and deliver homes. Tribus will continue to provide people with their dream self-build homes, all of which will feature the smart home and energy technology incorporated in all Etopia projects.”



Source: Property Investor




The Covid 19 pandemic presents unique challenges to all business sectors including construction. One of the most pressing difficulties is keeping up productivity on site while practising the social distancing measures as per government guidelines.


Utilising off-site construction as much as possible can be key to achieving project schedules while observing best health and safety practice. This has always been a benefit of modular construction and is now more significant than ever before.

Eurobrick have supplied brick and stone slip cladding to the Modular Building sector for nearly 30 years. Director Richard Haines talks here about the advantages of using brick cladding to maintain a brick finish with off-site construction, particularly in the current climate.


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“Eurobrick systems are lightweight and easy to install. In a controlled factory environment, an installer should be able to install at least 1m² per hour but an experienced installer may do a lot more. Brick cladding only requires semi-skilled labour to install too, so with the increasing skills shortage in the construction industry, reducing dependency on traditional skilled labour is advantageous.

Where installed in a factory environment, our systems are robust enough to withstand the stresses of being transported to site and craned into position. A modular building that can be delivered to site and which does not require substantial finishing works or large teams to implement installation is a major benefit, as speed of delivery is a critical factor for most projects alongside meeting important new health and safety measures.

Even in projects where it is not possible to fit Eurobrick brick slip cladding to a module before it reaches site, the cladding work can be taken off the critical path which means contact between different teams on-site can be managed more effectively.

A brick finish remains popular and is sometimes required to fit in with existing buildings. Our wide range of brick slips allows you to match the finish of existing structures and as our systems are flexible, they can be used in conjunction with other exterior finishes such as timber and render. This means a mixed palette of finishes, popular for creating a contemporary look, is achievable. And you can be assured that our kiln fired clay brick slips weather and age in the same way as conventional brickwork, requiring little to no maintenance.

Eurobrick have supplied a wide range of projects including residential and leisure developments, schools, colleges and universities throughout the country. Not only are our systems tried and tested, but they have certification from the British Board of Agrément (BBA), are LABC registered and we also provide our own 25 years guarantee.

Not all systems are created equally and while Eurobrick’s products have been tested extensively in laboratories they have also been tested and proven out in the real world during our 30 years in business. Other suppliers offer alternative systems however few, if any, have the wealth of experience and knowledge accumulated by Eurobrick and our dedicated team will be pleased to provide expert advice and practical solutions.

Furthermore, there is a network of independent Eurobrick Approved Installers who can provide experienced labour to projects of all sizes all over the UK.”

Eurobrick’s brick slip cladding offers numerous benefits in many situations. For modular/off-site construction the ease of installation, low weight, product consistency and a means to provide a real clay brick finish are key. While the construction industry is forced to adapt to the current circumstances, modules constructed off-site but with traditional appearance finishes will enable projects to proceed while maintaining the safety of the workforce.


For more information visit www.eurobrick.co.uk.