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Country's first 3D-printed housing community planned in California desert

Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Home and Consumer News

Rancho Mirage, Calif., the desert playground city dotted with resorts and golf courses, is about to get a jolt into the 21st century. Development group Palari just named it the site of the country's first 3D-printed community, which is set for completion by next spring.

The Coachella Valley community will cover five acres and include 15 eco-friendly homes — all of which will be made from 3D-printed panels by Mighty Buildings, a construction technology company based in Oakland.

Each property will include a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home of 1,450 square feet on a 10,000-square-foot lot with a swimming pool and deck for $595,000. A few will feature an additional 700-square-foot ADU with two bedrooms and a bathroom for $850,000.

They also offer high-tech Darwin wellness systems by New York-based Delos, with water filtration and circadian lighting. Optional upgrades include a pergola, cabana, hot tub, fire pit and outdoor shower.

The 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.

"It was reassuring to see such demand for these homes," Starr said, adding that most of the buyers were tech-savvy millennials with a passion for sustainability. Palari accepted cryptocurrency for the deposits, and two buyers paid in Bitcoin.


The construction will take only a matter of months, but the project has been years in the making. Alexey Dubov co-founded Mighty Buildings in 2017, and, in the time since, he and his company of over 100 employees have been developing the 3D-printing technology and becoming 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.

"It feels like a countertop in a kitchen. Because it's lighter, we reduce costs in transportation," Dubov said. He added that the material is also more thermal efficient than concrete, reducing the energy needed to maintain the home's temperature.

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


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