Leading Saudi developer Dar Al Arkan has completed the kingdom's first 3D construction printed (3DCP) two-storey villa, which stands 9.9-m tall, within the Shams Al Riyadh residential development.

The villa has been constructed using locally-made materials including cement, sand, rocks and stones, with varying degrees of concentration, to ensure the structure is up to four times stronger than traditional construction.

Buoyed by its success, Dar Al Arkan is currently building the second villa, which will typically take a month to complete. Already the first floor stands fully competed and that too in just eight days, it stated.

Using 3CDP technology is the first of its kind achievement in the region since it accelerates the speed of construction while enhancing safety and reducing wastage and errors.

The villa was printed directly on site, during the summer without any cooling equipment or shading indicating that the technology is capable of printing homes year-round and in any part of the Kingdom, stated the developer.

Dar Al Arkan pointed out that it had followed strict protocols and an evidence-based approach to ensure the project, including the first villa, constructing it safely in accordance with Saudi Arabia’s building codes in every aspect.

It had launched the 3DCP technology in Q4 last year to spearhead the transition of the construction and real-estate industry toward advanced and sustainable building practices and complement the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 to support economic diversification and digitisation.

Unlike traditional home-building methods, 3DCP cuts the construction time by more than half, is more flexible and requires less manpower since it takes only three workers to build one house. This, in turn, also contributes to decreased Lost Time Injury, thus creating a safer workplace, stated the developer.

Additionally, Dar Al Arkan said less concrete was needed to complete a building, thus making the technology more sustainable and a viable solution for a low-carbon construction industry of the future.

For consumers, the combination of these advantages ensures lower costs and more affordability compared to traditional construction, it added.

As 3DCP increases the accuracy of construction, the Saudi developer pointed out that there will be less repairs and rework too, helping save long-term costs and adding to the value of the property.

A combination of reduced waste of construction materials, less need for repair or rework and low on-site LTI incidents will enable highly cost-efficient project management than traditional construction, it added.

Wael Al Hagan, Project Manager, 3DCP, Dar Al Arkan, said: "We are currently building the second villa, which will typically take a month to complete, but we’ve already finished the first floor in only eight days. This 3D printed villa has additional insulation layers and features that ensure energy conservation, saving up to 30% in energy consumption."

"We urge all industry experts to visit us and view the first completed villa and the second under construction for themselves," noted Al Hagan.

"Our efforts are focused on developing the kingdom’s real estate sector by integrating the latest trends and technologies, drawn from global best practices to enhance our industry locally and deliver on the objectives of Vision 2030. The introduction of 3D construction printing enables us to focus on greater flexibility of design, strengthen productivity and achieve higher cost efficiency," he added.

The Saudi developer said this technology will revolutionise how customers buy their homes in the near future given that very soon they will be able to select from various digital building designs and simply authorise the printing of their home with a click of a button.

Dar Al Arkan will continue to develop the industry’s standards to cement the kingdom’s position as a leader in this sector, while making the company highly competitive in 3DCP technology, it added.

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