The recent earthquake that shook buildings in Johannesburg has amplified plans to roll out 3D concrete-printed houses to South Africans who dread the prospect of losing their properties to tremors and earthquakes.
Two weeks ago, seismologists recorded earth movements that occurred in the early hours of Sunday 11 June, measuring a magnitude of 5.0 and stretching about 12 km underground.
As a result, the South African Housing & Infrastructure Fund (SAHIF) has escalated its joint venture project with 3D concrete printing service providers to fast-track plans to build resilient houses.
“As South Africans ponder this week’s unprecedented earthquake in Johannesburg, SAHIF announced today that the innovative 3D concrete-printed homes it plans to roll out in South Africa can withstand seismic activity.
“This roll-out is possible due to a joint venture announced in June between SAHIF and Dutch construction technology company CyBe Construction, a leading provider of 3D concrete printers and earthquake-proof material,” said the fund.
SAHIF chief executive Rali Mampeule said the earthquake in Johannesburg demonstrated the need for resilient, sustainable and quality housing.
“The demand for affordable quality housing in South Africa far outstrips the supply. We can better address this challenge by reducing the cost of materials and labour, speeding up the construction process, and improving the quality of the finished houses. Not only are 3D houses more affordable and time efficient to build, but we know they are durable enough to withstand the kinds of seismic forces that surprised us all this week,” said Mampeule.
Mampeule said their partnership’s mission to provide affordable and rapid housing solutions is bolstered by the successful on-site training using CyBe’s mobile 3D concrete printer at the University of Johannesburg.
“This technology demonstrated its capacity to construct a complete house within just five days, marking a significant stride towards addressing the country’s pressing housing deficit.
“Introducing these innovative 3D-printed, earthquake-proof homes offers a sustainable solution to the country’s housing shortage and reassures residents of their safety,” he said.
Mampeule added that South Africa has a “ significant housing deficit, a problem that has persisted for many years”.
“With the blueprint for resilient, cost-effective housing at their fingertips, we can accelerate constructing a safe and secure future for all our citizens.”
According to the company, advanced design principles and materials selection are the cornerstones of constructing these resilient structures.
“3D concrete printing allows architects and engineers to work in unison to design and create buildings that can absorb and dissipate the energy produced during seismic events. These aesthetically pleasing houses are structurally sound, incorporating earthquake-resistant materials such as steel and polymer.
“Integral to this innovation is the CyBe Mortar, a high-strength, earthquake-resistant concrete specifically formulated for 3D printing. Coupled with the option to use enhanced graphene polymer from UK manufacturer 2-DTech, these advanced materials promise superior durability and flexibility, making them ideal for constructing earthquake-proof homes,” the company said.
SAHIF further pointed out that Statistics SA’s 2019 General Household Survey demonstrated that almost 13% of the 59 million population lived in informal settlements.
“An estimated 2.5 million affordable homes are needed to solve the shortage, which is increasing daily. As SAHIF continues to pioneer the housing sector in South Africa, Mampeule says this joint venture can revolutionise the construction landscape,” said the company.