March 18, 2021

3D Printed Zero Net Energy Homes Planned for Rancho Mirage

By Jim Roberts

Beverly Hills-based development company, Palari Group is teaming with Mighty Buildings, a construction technology company based in Oakland, to build 15 homes made with 3-D printed materials on five acres of land near the intersection of Ginger Rogers Road and Key Largo Avenue.

With textured exterior stone walls and floor-to-ceiling windows, the homes will feature mid-century modern architecture and will consist of a primary residence of 1,450 square feet, comprising 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a secondary residence of 700 square feet with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom on  10,000-square-foot parcels. Each backyard will feature a swimming pool with deck.

Homes will integrate DARWIN by Delos, a “wellness intelligence solution” to help enhance health and well-being by improving indoor air quality and implementing localized water filtration and circadian lighting. Energy will be supplied by solar, with optional Tesla Powerwall batteries and EV chargers for a fully integrated electric car/home experience. Other upgrade options include backyard amenities such as pergola decking, cabanas, hot tubs, firepits and outdoor showers.

The project will utilize the “Mighty Kit” system. The company’s printers, relying partially on automation and robotics, pre-make the panels which are later put together to build a 3D-printed house. According to Mighty Buildings, this method of construction is faster, more sustainable, and less expensive than traditional methods.

“We could not be more excited for this groundbreaking collaboration with Palari, and to be a part of the creation of the world’s first 3D-printed zero net energy community,” said Alexey Dubov, co-founder and COO of Mighty Buildings. “This will be the first on-the-ground actualization of our vision for the future of housing which can be deployed rapidly, affordably, sustainably, and able to augment surrounding communities with a positive dynamic.”

During the presale stage, prices start at $595,000 for a base three-bedroom/two bath model and go up to $950,000 for a two-home configuration with numerous upgrades. A pre-sale campaign started in late February and sold out within days, with buyers paying $1,000 to reserve a spot, according to Palari CEO Basil Starr.

The construction will take only a matter of months, but the project has been years in the making. Dubov co-founded Mighty Buildings in 2017 and has been developing the 3D printing technology which is certified by Underwriter Laboratories, the company that tests for safety and sustainability standards.

What was once a 7,900-square-foot garage operation in Redwood City has turned into a 79,000-square-foot warehouse in Oakland that uses robots to print a composite material the company invented called Light Stone Material. The synthetic stone hardens when exposed to UV light, which makes it both stronger and lighter than concrete with a longevity of more than 70 years.

The 15-home community will be Mighty Buildings’ biggest project by far.

The company delivered its first 3-D-printed panels last January and has created about 10 homes since, but the factory will produce homes at a rapid pace going forward. It’s currently backlogged through the rest of the year and secured $40 million in funding last month, which Dubov said will go toward scaling manufacturing capabilities.

For the Rancho Mirage project, the homes come as a kit and fit together like Lego bricks. Mighty Buildings is producing the interior and exterior walls, which come with connectors so they can be easily assembled onsite.

Starr said a typical project of this scale would take about three years, but they’re planning for no more than a year and a half since his team can work on the foundations and roads in parallel with Mighty Buildings printing the material for the homes. He claims the houses will take one month to install as opposed to three to six months using traditional methods.

The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the project slightly, but it also has created unprecedented demand in Greater Palm Springs where the lifestyle has garnered the attention of people looking to escape the many challenges associated with large urban areas like Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.

“The pandemic has shifted buyer preferences from condos to single-family homes. A lot of people are working from home and considering new locations such as Rancho Mirage, and that’s adding to the value of these homes,” Starr said.

Palari chose Rancho Mirage for its proximity to L.A. and the relatively cheap land. Going forward, Palari is planning communities elsewhere in Greater Palm Springs as well as northern and central California and the San Fernando Valley.

 

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