Construction 3D Printing

CyBe and SAHIF take on South Africa’s housing crisis

Leverage innovative 3D concrete printing technology to deliver faster, cheaper, and more sustainable homes

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CyBe Construction, a leading provider of 3D concrete printers, and the South African Housing & Infrastructure Fund (SAHIF) have joined forces in a collaboration aimed at tackling the pressing housing shortage in South Africa. The joint effort will leverage innovative 3D concrete printing technology to deliver faster, cheaper, and more sustainable homes. This strategic cooperation comes in response to the urgent need for affordable housing, and represents a significant step toward achieving the United Nations’ goal of providing safe and accessible housing for all by 2030.

South Africa’s housing crisis

South Africa is currently facing a severe housing crisis, with an ever-increasing backlog that has persisted for years. According to Dr. Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Technology, the country currently faces a shortage of over 2.3 million houses. This backlog of affordable housing has now reached the dark milestone of persisting for over two decades – highlighting the urgent need for affordable housing solutions. Unfortunately, the country’s housing crisis isn’t unique. According to Cybe, Indonesia, for example, currently faces a shortage of over 10 million homes; Mexico needs to scale up its housing construction to 800,000 units a year to keep up with demand; and India is estimated to have a housing shortage of over 38 million by 2030.

CyBe and SAHIF take on South Africa's housing crisis. Leverage innovative 3D concrete printing technology to deliver homes more effectively.

A collaborative solution

To address this critical issue, CyBe Construction and SAHIF have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), combining their expertise and resources to come to a solution.

“We believe that construction 3D printing will significantly alter and positively disrupt how human settlements will be delivered in South Africa,” said Minister Nzimande, during a demonstration of the technology by the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The university’s demonstration showcased the capabilities of the CyBe Robot Crawler: a mobile 3D printer capable of efficiently constructing homes within hours.

CyBe’s demonstration at UJ reaffirmed their expertise – making them an ideal candidate for the cooperation with SAHIF. SAHIF is the first fund in South Africa to embrace 3DCP in its approach. The collaboration between the two sustainable innovators, which plans on rolling out large-scale development projects around the country, is poised to transform South Africa’s construction industry.

Though the collaboration between Cybe and SAHIF has been in the works for some time now, the inauguration of the MoU still had a rather coercive trigger – a recent earthquake in South Africa. The seismic event, of which the epicenter is believed to be in Johannesburg’s neighboring city, Boksburg, caused extensive damage to buildings around the city. SAHIF’s CEO, Rali Mampeule, emphasized the pressing need for affordable but resilient housing by stressing that “not only are 3D printed houses more affordable and quicker to build, but we also know they are sturdy enough to withstand seismic forces that took us by surprise this week.”

CyBe and SAHIF take on South Africa's housing crisis. Leverage innovative 3D concrete printing technology to deliver homes more effectively.

Earthquake-resilient housing

The inherent flexibility of 3DCP allows for the customization of structures, specifically tailored to withstand seismic activity. The technique also allows for the creation of intricate shapes that are reinforced with earthquake-resistant materials such as steel or polymer. The key factor in the method’s ability to absorb the seismic energy of an earthquake, however, can be attributed to CyBe Construction’s building material. The company has developed its own CyBe Mortar, an ‘earthquake-proof’ mortar specifically formulated for 3D printing.

This material combines high-strength aggregates and fibers – significantly bolstering its resistance to seismic forces. This earthquake-resistant material, when combined with the precision, efficiency, and flexibility of 3D concrete printing, creates homes that not only prioritize safety but also showcase sustainability and style.

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746 composites AM companies individually surveyed and studied. Core composites AM market generated over $785 million in 2023. Market expected to grow to $7.8 billion by 2033 at 25.8% CAGR. This new...

Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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