Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Georgia Pacific unveils world’s first 3D Printed biobased home


Georgia-Pacific wood products have been used in millions of homes, but none like this one.
Georgia-Pacific is proud to have contributed to the world's first 100% biobased home, which was printed on the world's largest 3D printer.

The Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC) at the University of Maine recently unveiled "BioHome3D," the world's first 3D-printed house made entirely of bio-based materials.

The 600-square-foot prototype has 3D-printed wood fiber and bio-resin floors, walls, and a roof. The 3D printer used GPs medium-density fiberboard as a base to precisely lay down rows of the wood/plastic material, which then hardened and created the base, walls, ceiling, and roof. The printer is programmed to leave openings for windows and doors and can print at a rate of 150 pounds per hour, with the capacity to increase to 500 pounds per hour in the future.

The wood-plastic material is made from wood flour, which is made from ground-up sawmill residuals and recycled plastic pellets. The Georgia-Pacific product was chosen over a previous plastic base or other types of wood bases.

“When the ASCC contacted us about helping with this project, GP gladly provided a full unit of 1-inch, 5-foot by 20-foot panels,” says Steven Paulson, GP technical director. “The Mt Jewett, Pennsylvania MDF plant is proud to have been involved in such a ground-breaking project, with this much value and future potential.”

The house is 100% recyclable and well-insulated with wood insulation. Because of the precision of the printing process, construction waste was nearly eliminated. Those behind the project hope that the 3D-printed home will aid in the management of the housing shortage.

“With its innovative BioHome3D, UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center is thinking creatively about how we can tackle our housing shortage, strengthen our forest products industry, and deliver people a safe place to live so they can contribute to our economy,” said Maine Governor Janet Mills.

Among those present at the unveiling were Senator Susan Collins, Jeff Marootian, senior advisor for energy efficiency and renewable energy at the US Department of Energy, and Habib Dagher, executive director of the ASCC.

“Many technologies are being developed to 3D print homes, but unlike BioHome3D, most are printed using concrete. However, only the concrete walls are printed on top of a conventionally cast concrete foundation,” said Dagher. “Traditional wood framing or wood trusses are used to complete the roof. Unlike the existing technologies, the entire BioHome3D was printed.”

The house is currently outfitted with sensors for thermal, environmental, and structural monitoring in order to see how it holds up during a Maine winter. Researchers intend to use the information gathered to improve future designs.