Plans have been revealed today in Dubai for the world’s first fully functional 3D printed building, a move that aims to establish the UAE’s position as the global centre of technology in architecture construction and design.
Speaking on the occasion, His Excellency Mohamed Al Gergawi, Chairman, UAE National Innovation Committee, said the UAE aims to deploy the latest technologies to improve people’s lives and to develop its economy in line with the country’s National Innovation Strategy and the vision His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.
“This project reflects the vision of our leadership here in Dubai,” HE Al Gergawi said. “We are keen to use the latest technologies to simplify people’s lives and to serve them better. This project is part of our overall innovation strategy to create new designs and new solutions in education, healthcare and cities. Our goal is to increase the happiness and wellbeing of our residents and to pioneer new solutions for the world.”
“The idea of 3D printing buildings was once a dream, but today it has become a reality,” he added. “This building will be a testimony to the efficiency and creativity of 3D printing technology, which we believe will play a major role in reshaping construction and design sectors. We aim to take advantage of this growth by becoming a global hub for innovation and 3D printing. This is the first step of many more to come.”
Experts estimate that 3D printing technology can reduce the production time of buildings by 50 to 70 per cent, reduce labour costs by 50 to 80 per cent, and can save between 30 and 60 per cent of construction waste. These savings translate to enhanced productivity, higher economic return, and increased sustainability.
The ‘Office’ will be approximately 2,000 square feet in size and will be printed layer-by-layer using a 20-foot tall 3D printer, then assembled on site in Dubai in just a few weeks. All interior furniture, detailing, and structural components will also be built using 3D printing technology, combining a mixture of Special Reinforced Concrete (SRC), Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum (GRG) and Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP). This combination will make it the most advanced 3D printed structure ever built at this scale and the first to be put into actual use.
The building is the result of a partnership between Dubai and WinSun Global along with leading global architecture and engineering firms Gensler, Thornton Thomasetti, and Syska Hennessy.
In addition to prototyping new technology, the ‘Office’ reflects the latest input from experts and researchers in workplace design and the future of work. Located at a busy intersection in the heart of Dubai, the ‘Office’ is designed to bring together different professionals, community members, and experts through a mix of public events. The space is open and flexible, allowing for a range of uses and team sizes. It will also feature a small digital fabrication facility and a 3D printing exhibition space.
The project is the first major initiative of the ‘Museum of the Future’, launched earlier this year by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed. It highlights the Museum’s model of industry – government – designer collaboration, which is intended to develop and deploy cutting edge prototypes across the city of Dubai. It will act as the temporary headquarters for the staff of the ‘Museum of the Future’ while the permanent Museum is being built.