Words by Smiley Team
In the midst of rising inflation and global uncertainty, much of the US has plunged into a housing crisis as rents are skyrocketing and houses are being bought up in droves by large investment firms.
That’s where companies like Azure come in.
Azure is a Los Angeles startup that came in with the goal of making housing sustainable and affordable. Their method is using recycled plastic to 3D print prefabricated homes, starting at around $25,000.
“The construction sector is the largest global consumer of raw materials, responsible for approximately 11 percent of the world's total carbon emissions. Our responsibility to our customers and future generations is to use the most sustainable practices imaginable,” said Ross Maguire, the CEO of Azure.
The projects range everything from a two-room ADU to their newest model, a backyard studio. These units will begin as expansions to existing buildings on the land, and according to Azure, they build homes 70 percent faster and 30 percent cheaper than “traditional home construction methods.”
“With the construction industry using the same basic building techniques for centuries, resulting in most projects being delivered over budget, behind schedule, and with tremendous waste produced, (the founders) knew there was a better way to build,” states Azure’ “It became their goal to develop homes faster, more economically and with much less of an environmental impact.”
Azure's printing materials consist of the waterproof plastic polymer generally found in plastic bottles and packaging food, according to the startup.
“We have created production efficiencies not only by capitalizing on the advances in 3D printing but by creating a design and process that is completed in only 20 hours,” Ross said.
“When compared with conventional construction, we produce the entire structural skeleton, the exterior sheathing, the water control barrier, the exterior finish, the passageways for utilities, and the grounding for interior finishes, in a fraction of the time and cost. By revolutionizing a new age of the home building with our sustainable, automated, and exact production processes, we see a very, very exciting future ahead.”
DONATE: The National Low Income Housing Coalition is an organization that helps people find and afford housing. Consider donating.
SUPPORT: If you’re interested in Azure you can check them out and even join a waitlist for their work.