New Zealand 3D prints a childcare centre

The southern hemisphere’s first commercial building featuring 3D printed concrete walls has been completed in Hamilton, New Zealand.

The early childhood centre, Creators Forest Lake, was built using six sections of QOROX 3D printed walls at a combined length of 15 metres long and three metres high.

The walls were printed in under five hours.

The project was completed on time, despite post-COVID supply chain issues, by Iconic Construction and General Manager Johnny Gordon said the use of the 3D printed walls was a ‘game-changer’, particularly due to the quick printing and setting time.

The time-saving of using QOROX walls was noticed by other trades on site, particularly the installation, which was completed in just two and a half days by only two people.

“After installing them late last year, the only additional finish was to paint them, by comparison to the more traditional areas that have taken months longer to get to the same stage,” Mr Gordon said.

QOROX founder Wafaey Swelim said the speed of construction was due to the innovative technology and the construction “Ink”, made from 80 per cent of material sourced in New Zealand, and a blend of ingredients he likes to call the “colonel’s secret spices”.

Mr Swelim said QOROX had created a sustainable and innovative material that can be used across projects of any size or quantity.

“We can print almost anything, from the smallest single-run planter boxes, right through to commercial builds like this daycare centre, or even large-scale stormwater collection systems,” said Swelim.

Flexible design options available with QOROX 3D printed concrete allows people to think differently about what could be possible.

Other notable projects for QOROX include the recently publicised Huia house, which incorporates curved walls with a weave pattern.

The 3D printed walls of the childcare centre in Hamilton, New Zealand

The next development by Iconic is already in the pipeline, with QOROX and Iconic working with local designers to expand the possibilities of 3D printing in New Zealand construction.

Nick Lane, Commercial Captain at QOROX, said being able to build texture and curves into the wall design softened the look of the concrete walls.

“You don’t often think of concrete as warm and welcoming, but the texture and curves can give the walls a sense of comfort and whimsy, and it holds and transfers heat well, which is great for all seasons,” Mr Lane said.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.