Biodegradable Homes

Biodegradable Homes

Lea Flavier

The University of Maine takes a step further towards biodegradable innovation by unveiling the world’s first bio-based, 3d printed house. With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and other partners, BioHome3d is a requisite aid towards resolving Maine’s scarce housing problem. The state faces an astounding deficit of 20,000 housing units this year as numbers are expected to increase over the following years, accounting as well as the challenges of labor shortage, inflation, and skyrocketing building supply prices.

By pursuing environmental awareness and formulating a solution for the domestic crisis, the University of Maine secures nearly $40 Million in funds for this project, expecting to address the severe housing issue in the state. 

Production for buildings adds up to 40 percent of global carbon emissions. BioHome3d requires low-cost, low-effort production and is made with renewable resources. The first home was printed in four modules and took merely half a day to assemble. Printed with locally sourced, recycled wood flour from sawmills and a binder made with corn, the biodegradable homes are to battle against the excessive waste produced by factories that often end up in landfills.

Maine’s Governor, Janet Mills expresses her initial surprise and support for the project, believing in its potential to clear the housing problem. “It’s extraordinary. I didn’t know what to expect,” she states. “I thought maybe some hunk of clay kind of looking thing, but this is a real house.” The prototype is currently under monitoring to see how it will withstand a friar Maine winter. Data collected from this observation will be used for future research as a tool to continuously improve the homes’ designs in the future.