Lafarge Canada announced Jan. 11 its combined effort with nidus3D in supplying OneCem low-carbon cement for the 3D-printed housing project taking place in Siksika Nation. 

As of Oct. 16, work had begun on 3D printing a set of fourplexes on Siksika Nation, marking the largest project of this type in Canada to date. 

The project plan consists of four structures, which will ultimately house 16 families at a time upon completion. The aim is to help address housing challenges within Siksika Nation, as well as to celebrate Indigenous culture and heritage. 

Nidus3D has successfully completed similar projects in Ontario, though this is the first venture of this kind to be undertaken in Alberta. 

The units are designed to provide affordable, supportive housing for those who are fleeing domestic violence, or who are facing homelessness.

Lafarge is supplying its OneCem low-carbon cement for the project. The idea being that the cement mix has a high limestone content, which translates into a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions when utilized when compared to more traditional Portland cement. 

“Our shared goal with nidus3D extends beyond mere innovation,” says Brad Kohl, president and CEO of Lafarge Canada (West). “This project is about helping address the critical housing needs of the nation and (fostering) a resilient, inclusive future through sustainable construction practices. We were proud to contribute to this project.”

The 3D concrete printing technology creates objects in a layer-by-layer process until the desired outcome is achieved; in this case, a building. The process is very similar to 3D printing processes which utilize plastics. 

Another benefit to this type of construction is minimizing waste in addition to the reduced carbon emissions, which aligns with environmental and community values. 

Nidus3D is a Canadian robotic construction company which was founded in 2021 to deliver low-cost printed structures with automated, on-site 3D concrete printing. 

Print times for the exterior walls of a building are reported to take approximately a week per building. For this project, in order to save on costs and print times, only the exteriors will be printed, as opposed to doing both interiors and exteriors in this fashion. 

Utilities for the buildings such as plumbing, windows, electrical and finishing will be installed more conventionally, following the completion of the printing processes.

The project has a total allocated budget of $2.6 million from Indigenous Services Canada. The contract established between participating organizations requires that the project be completed by March 31.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jan 18, 2024 at 23:28

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta

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