Highly-anticipated Int’l Building Expo to feature new housing technology
–construction 3D printer to be utilized
Patrons at the upcoming International Building Expo will witness the printing of a house by a Construction 3D printer, which is currently being assembled at the venue, the National Stadium, Providence. The event will run from July 22-24.
Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues, along with Chief Operations Officer of Black Buffalo, Todd Grimm and Chief Executive Officer of Maraiko Bay Resort, Leo Powell on Saturday briefed the media about the 3D printer’s capabilities.
Black Buffalo is the printer’s manufacturer located in Pennsylvania, United States of America while Maraiko Bay Resort is one of the participating companies at the expo.
Minister Rodrigues noted that this is the first of its kind in the Caribbean. She said also it raises the bar in terms of construction technology in Guyana.
“In the housing sector, we have a very big mandate, a very tall order, in terms of house lots and housing construction, and also we will need to employ the use of modern technology in order to ensure that we deliver on our targets, not only in the housing sector, but in terms of infrastructure generally for the future of our country,” Minister Rodrigues said.
The machine will print one of the ministry’s low – income model houses, measuring 600 square feet.
However, human resources will be required for the installation of windows and doors, wiring, plumbing, and other fittings.
Generally, the machine saves about 20-30 per cent of construction cost.
“It is my assumption that this machine will do more than just be a part of the housing sector. I anticipate that we will have to get more of this in the country, because this particular one can print a two-storey house…but they also have machines that, when configurated, can go as high as four storeys,” Minister Rodrigues noted.
According to Powell, the equipment was one of the building solutions when the company was looking for opportunities to develop the Maraiko Bay resort, which will be established in Mahaica.
“Not just for Maraiko Bay, but also to the national housing project and other projects in the future like Silica city, highway drains, ways that we could use reinforced concrete at a high PSI (Pounds per square inch) to be a part of the development process here in Guyana,” Powell said.
Meanwhile, Grimm added that, “What you are able to do is take a foundation that’s pre-existing and go on top of that and print a home. You can print about 1200 square feet in about 20 to 30 hours, which would be about a three-day print.”
He noted that a normal block wall is about 2, 800 to 3, 200 PSI. When tested, the printed wall has 7,500 PSI after 15 days, and 10,000 PSI after 28 days.
International Building Expo will see the participation of over 200 local businesses.