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First 3D-Printed Housing Community in Rancho Mirage

Rancho Mirage, the desert playground city dotted with resorts and golf courses, is about to get a jolt into the 21st century. Development group Palari just named it the site of the country’s first 3-D-printed community, which is set for completion by next spring. The Coachella Valley community will cover five acres and include 15 eco-friendly homes — all of which will be made from 3-D-printed panels by Mighty Buildings, a construction technology company based in Oakland. Each property will include a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home of 1,450 square feet on a 10,000-square-foot lot with a swimming pool and deck for $595,000. A few will feature an additional 700-square-foot ADU with two bedrooms and a bathroom for $850,000. They also offer high-tech Darwin wellness systems by New York-based Delos, with water filtration and circadian lighting. Optional upgrades include a pergola, cabana, hot tub, fire pit and outdoor shower.

The pre-sale campaign started in late February and sold out within days, with buyers paying $1,000 to reserve a spot, according to Palari CEO Basil Starr. “It was reassuring to see such demand for these homes,” Starr said, adding that most of the buyers were tech-savvy millennials with a passion for sustainability. Palari accepted cryptocurrency for the deposits, and two buyers paid in Bitcoin.

Palari emphasizes sustainability, and Starr said current homebuyers feel the same. In searching for a home-building partner for the project, he toured 20 factories but ended up pursuing Mighty Buildings for its trailblazing technology and UL certification. A typical wood-framed house requires cutting the lumber down to size, and the leftovers often end up in a landfill, while 3-D printers generate the exact material needed. In addition, the automated process uses 95% less manpower because robots create the panels. “There hasn’t been a focus on sustainability in construction. The only focus has been building cheaper, which has created this system of wood-framed construction,” Starr said.

For the Rancho Mirage project, the homes come as a kit and fit together like Lego bricks. Mighty Buildings is producing the interior and exterior walls, which come with connectors so they can be easily assembled onsite. Starr said a typical project of this scale would take around three years, but they’re planning for no more than a year and a half since his team can work on the foundations and roads in parallel with Mighty Buildings printing the material for the homes. He claims the houses will take one month to install as opposed to three to six months using traditional methods. Coronavirus has slowed the project slightly, but it also opened up buyers to the possibility of living in a place like Rancho Mirage, which is typically known as a resort city with a rapidly shifting population depending on the season. “The pandemic has shifted buyer preferences from condos to single-family homes. A lot of people are working from home and considering new locations such as Rancho Mirage, and that’s adding to these homes’ value,” Starr said.

Text by Jack Flemming | Rendering by Mighty Buildings & EYRC Architects | Read More Here

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