The United Arab Emirates National Innovation Committee has revealed a project to create the world’s first ever 3-D printed office building. While there have been some teams in the past that have used 3-D printing to build just the exterior walls of buildings, the upcoming project in Dubai will take the technology a step further by printing the interior walls and furniture as well. Dubai officials promise the building with be “the most advanced 3D-printed structure ever built at this scale” and the first to be put into actual use.
The project will be led by be WinSun Global, a company who 3-D printed an apartment building late last year in China, and leading firms Gensler, Thornton Thomasetti, and Syska Hennessy.
The one-story, 2,000-foot prototype building with be built with a 20-foot 3-D printer. The team will use Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP), Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum (GRG) and Special Reinforced Concrete (SRC) to create the structural and decorative elements of the building. The team believes 3-D printing could cut building time by 50-70 percent and labor costs by 50-80 percent.
“The idea of 3D printing buildings was once a dream, but today it has become a reality,” said Mohammed al-Gergawi, the United Arab Emirates’ minister of cabinet affairs and chairman of the UAE National Innovation Committee. “This building will be a testimony to the efficiency and creativity of 3-D printing technology, which we believe will play a major role in reshaping construction and design sectors. We aim to take advantage of this growth by becoming a global hub for innovation and 3-D printing.”
After the building is complete, the building will serve a temporary headquarters of a $136 million “Museum of the Future” announced earlier this year that is expected to open in 2017.