‘World’s tallest 3D printed building’ is now in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia-based developer Dar Al Arkan has unveiled its three-storey 3D printed villa made using a 3D construction printer from COBOD International. The project is located in Shams Al Riyadh, northwest of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, in a new development project of 12 mil sq m of land, which is part of the Saudi Vision 2030.

Wael Al Hagan, 3D construction printing project manager at Dar Al Arkan, said, “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.”

The three-storey, 345 sq m house features a total height of 9.9 m, making it the tallest on-site 3D printed building in the world, said COBOD.  The first floor has an area of 130 sq m, which includes a spacious hall with several living areas, a kitchen and two toilets. The second floor is 140 sq m with three bedrooms (one of which is a master bedroom), two bathrooms, a living room and a balcony.

The third floor covers a roof annex, which holds a maid’s room with a bathroom, a multipurpose hall and a laundry room. Although it consists of three floors, in Saudi Arabia such a building is referred to as a two storey + annex, due to the third floor being somewhat smaller than the first two floors.

The project was carried out using local materials and the D.fab solution developed by Cemex and COBOD. This solution allows COBOD customers to source 99% of the concrete materials locally, while only relying on 1% sourced from a central location. According to COBOD, less than €10,000 was spent on the printed materials.

Following the printing of the first villa, Dar Al Arkan has now moved the printer to use on another villa project. “We are currently building the second villa, which will typically take a month to complete, but we’ve already finished the first floor of 130 sq m in only eight days,” shared Mr Al Hagan.

“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.”

The villa was printed in a dessert area without the use of a tent in August and September when temperatures can reach over 40 degrees in Saudi Arabia.

Zaid Marmash, head of Middle East & Africa at COBOD, said, “The printing of the villa without the use of a tent shows the competence of the Dar Al Arkan team and their ability to handle our world-class technology. They are pushing the boundaries for the future of construction. Printing with a COBOD 3D construction printer, Dar Al Arkan proves how 3D printing buildings can be both very cost effective and time saving at the same time.”