3D PRINTER FOR LOW-RISE CONSTRUCTION
The technology of printing not only individual fragments of building materials, but entire houses on a 3D printer in recent years has been developed in the United States, China, and the European Union countries. In this area, Russia also has something to offer: the first residential building with an area of 36.8 square meters was printed in the Moscow vicinity in Stupino as part of the Skolkovo project. To this day, this technology makes it possible to build low-rise buildings in this way: current regulation in the Russian Federation so far make the printing of a high-rise building mostly impossible.
Nevertheless, a Russian version of a house-building 3D printer is being improved and is of interest to construction organizations not only domestically, but also abroad. Last year, the Danish company 3D Printhuset purchased an S-6044 Long printer, made in Yaroslavl by Spetsavia, to print a 50-square-meter building in Copenhagen, the capital of the country, which would also serve as a small one room hotel and office. A Russian portal-type printer with a working space of 8x8x6 meters is capable of printing with cement-based compositions of the most common brands M 300—500. It prints in layers with a height of 20 millimeters and a width of 50-70 millimeters at a speed of 2.5 meters per minute.
Compared with the traditional construction method, erection of buildings using 3D printing increases the speed of work (a chemical agent for accelerating of concrete hardening is added to the mixture) and increases the reliability of the finished building – and the Russian printer clearly demonstrates these advantages. In addition, the 3D construction method provides the optimum mixture consumption and the almost complete absence of waste, which effectively removes the question of their disposal.
As for the cost of construction, for the first houses printed by the 3D method — it was expectingly higher than that of similar buildings constructed according to the traditional technology. However, modern mobile printers that can print permanent formwork and skip a number of stages of exterior and interior decoration of buildings, can provide savings from 25% to 40%, and this is not the limit, because these «smart» machines are improving from year to year.
A kind of inhibiting factor for the expansion of the practice of construction by the 3D method is the existing regulations, according to which the height of buildings erected in this way cannot exceed six floors. However, even in the low-rise construction segment, 3D printing can solve in the long term the problem of affordable housing for Russian families with low incomes — if, of course, they regard the prospect of living in a private house in the middle of a single-type low-rise buildings as attractive.
As for high-rise buildings, in the past two years, at profile exhibitions, the interest of relevant ministries and departments in 3D printing technology in construction has been noted. Not so long ago, the media outlined the statement made by the Deputy Minister of Construction of the Russian Federation, Elena Sierra, that three-dimensional printing is our inevitable future. And if so, then the standards in force in this area may change over time.
WOODEN DOME HOUSES WITHOUT NAILS
In the current decade, there is a real boom in eco-friendly construction of wood and its derivatives around the world. And Russian developers here turned out to be in this trend. Scientists of the Far Eastern Federal University have created modern houses in the shape of a dome, in the construction of which, as in the times of the triumph of the architects of the Russian North, not a single nail, nor any other metal fixings are used.
House-dome is being built in a very short time. The «heart» of the technology is the locks of a special design, with the help of which the elements of the dome are connected to each other. It is the locks that take on all the loads: vertical, side and other. Production of wooden fragments is carried out with extreme precision, so that they are joined with each other as parts of the children’s designer. What is important — the technology of assembling such buildings is very simple in implementation: it is enough to have a set of parts and assembly instructions on hand to assemble the domed house on its own — of course, of small size: to assemble a larger structure, special equipment and lifting equipment will be required.
The domed house is not a toy invented by Russian scientists. At one of the recreation centers of Primorsky Territory, for several years now, the Snezhok ’cafe, built by the developers themselves, has been operating, whose unusual form attracts many visitors. The two-storeyed domed house was also built — it is much larger than the cafe building: its height is twelve meters, the area is 195 square meters.
As for the cost of small houses with finishing, the price per square meter of such housing, according to the head of the woodworking laboratory of the Far Eastern Federal University, Yury Yatsenko, does not exceed twenty thousand rubles — and in the case of small one-story houses it can be significantly lower.
Paradoxically, in the United States of America, the domed houses built without nails are already going by hundreds of thousands — whereas in the homeland of technology, in Russia, there are only dozens of them. Experts explain this situation by the fact that the domestic market is still not psychologically ready for the massive construction of wooden housing of such an unusual shape. But for designers, such houses provide a huge space for experiments with interior decoration and lighting.
FACING BRICKS WHICH CHANGES COLOR
Russian innovations have spread not only to the actual construction, but also to the finishing segment. A brick factory in the city of Kopeisk produces a finishing brick, which is popularly called a chameleon stone, and velor-shaped for documents, for its ability to change color depending on the lighting. The essence of the technology is in special vertical grooves, which are applied to the surface with special metal brushes. Due to this, the building, faced with such a brick, in different weather and in different daytime hours, looks different every time: from burgundy to pink.
Used in combination with a smooth facing brick, velor allows the cladding masters to create countless combinations built on the play of light. Such a brick is used not only for the facades of buildings, but also for facing fences and in interiors — mainly when laying fireplaces, where live fire adds its own nuances to the color of the brick.
The performance of a finishing chameleon brick from Kopeisk is very high. If on a regular brick small efflorescence appears over time, then on velor such defects can occur only on the solid part. According to the manufacturer, subject to all requirements for finishing work, the fading of the velor brick does not threaten even after a long time of service.
Interestingly, the prices for this type of finishing brick in Russia remain quite affordable — they are slightly more expensive than regular bricks and cheaper than decorative ones.
In conclusion, it is worth noting that if in the first years after the appearance of building materials on the Russian market, private sector developers were the main consumers of the chameleon brick, today this finishing material is increasingly being used in high-rise construction, which greatly adorns the urban landscape.