Invest WindsorEssex (IWE), the economic development organization for the Windsor-Essex region of Ontario, has showcased the design of a 3D printed home in virtual reality as part of a first-of-its-kind in Canada housing project led by Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex and in partnership with the University of Windsor.
Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex is a non-profit organization that aims to mobilize volunteers and community partners to build affordable housing and promote home ownership as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty.
This pilot project, set to be completed by April 2022, will result in four units (four-plex design) in a self-contained home and will be available through Habitat’s partnership with The Bridge Youth Resource Centre for individuals and couples in need of affordable housing in the municipality of Leamington.
It will be a historic build as the first 3D printed structure for residential use in Canada. An emerging technology, 3D printing could be a game-changing solution to the current housing crisis through increasing efficiency of building, promoting housing density and reducing costs associated with construction, says IWE.
“We are excited about this innovative solution to addressing the national housing crisis,” said Hilda MacDonald, mayor of the Municipality of Leamington. “We are very grateful the Municipality of Leamington was selected as the location of this first-of-its-kind fully accessible 3D multi-unit residential build.”
Through the IWE digital twinning program in partnership with St. Clair College, the IWE team, led by digital twin technician Bryan Holmes, used the computer-assisted design (CAD) model of the building and brought the home to life in its virtual reality (VR) Cave, which is an immersive and active virtual reality environment integrated with state-of-the-art hardware and software. This process identified how the new design would ultimately look and allowed builders to perform an accessibility audit on the homes to ensure they are fully accessible prior to construction, explains IWE.