Continuing with AC, the technology is also being used to build transitional housing for the Siksika Nation in Alberta, funded at $2.6 million from Indigenous Services Canada. Kakatoosoyiists (Star Lodges) will be the province’s largest 3D concrete printed housing project, and is the result of a partnership between Siksika Housing on the southern Alberta First Nation, Ontario-based AC company nidus3D, and the University of Calgary School of Architecture and Planning. There will be 16 transitional units, grouped in fourplexes, and each one will be about 600 square feet, with one bedroom and one bathroom, and could be occupied anywhere from six months to two years. They are meant for Nation members who are dealing with a housing crisis. The robotic arm printer operates onsite, laying concrete exterior walls on top of conventional interior walls, and can print the walls for one building in about a week. Ryan Hall, housing manager of Siksika Housing, considers this a pilot project, and hopes that if it’s successful, the Nation might consider purchasing a 3D printer to create housing, which would allow them to incorporate Blackfoot knowledge into the design. Other Indigenous communities in Alberta are also showing interest.
Hall explained, “I’ve been thinking about using the technology to build housing out here and it sort of went from there and to putting together a proposal and getting funding and then ultimately starting to build the project.
“We’re still trying to figure out some supply chain issues to acquire materials, but I think in the new year, they’ll be ready. Our contract requires that they are done by March 31.”