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IACC/E.Cabay: Spain’s first 3D printed building

IACC/E.Cabay: Spain’s first 3D printed building
IACC/E.Cabay: Spain’s first 3D printed building

Barcelona's Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), where Edouard Cabay has worked on innovative project for more than seven years,and Italian 3D printer manufacturer WASP have created a building they say is the first made entirely of local materials and 3D printing technology in Spain.


Called "TOVA," the project was developed by a team of students and researchers from the 3D Printing Architecture (3DPA) postgraduate program of IAAC. The endeavor was born out of the institution’s ongoing research to find new ways of facing the social and environmental challenges of the future through its various education and research programs. The structure was conceived as a prototype for sustainable housing that could be built anywhere in the world.

TOVA was constructed at the Valldaura Labs facilities on the outskirts of Barcelona and is part of a larger project in collaboration with WASP that envisions a complete house. Together the teams are exploring the future of housing solutions as the threat of a global housing emergency looms due to large migrations and natural disasters. Construction of TOVA took seven weeks to complete, a Crane WASP printer, and materials sourced within a 50-meter (164-foot) radius, resulting in a near-zero emissions project.

During the construction process, zero waste was reportedly generated, according to the team. The structure is made of local earth, mixed with additives and enzymes to ensure the structural integrity and material elasticity needed for an optimized 3D printing process of the walls. The foundation is made of geopolymer, and the roof is composed of wood. Additionally, a waterproof coating was added using raw extracted materials such as aloe and egg whites to ensure the longevity of the materials in resistance to weather.

TOVA’s design responds to the climatic conditions of the Mediterranean. Its volume is compact to protect from the cold in winter and expandable during the rest of the seasons. A network of cavities in the wall contains airflow.



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