An Italian architecture business employed 3D printing to create the dome-like, beehive-like structure of a house out of zero-emissions clay with the intention of demonstrating what levels of sustainability are possible with the technology. The firm was inspired by the potter wasp.
If a house needs to be demolished for whatever reason, the only things that will be wasted are the plumbing, gas, and electrical components because, much like the hardworking wasps, the houses are constructed utilizing the clay from the location in which they are being created.
The Bologna-based architectural firm Mario Cucinella maintains that “the idea of the city must be challenged,” and their contender is a modular-series of clay pods that would not look out of place inside the Great Enclosure in Zimbabwe.
The process is known as TECLA, which is an acronym that stands for technology and clay.
It was co-developed by Cucinella with the assistance of another firm known as WASP, which specializes in the development of solutions for 3D printing.
Their modular design makes use of two 3D-printing arms at the same time to generate two domed areas out of 350 layers of undulating clay and rice chaff as insulation.
This process is analogous to the conventional construction techniques used in the construction of Moroccan Kasbahs.
The goal is to be completely independent from the power grid, and the design and durability can be altered to accommodate different climates and specific regional issues.
Cucinella missed out on the chance to name the project “circadian cupulas” due to the fact that one of the cupulas is designed for the day and features a large circular skylight and door that let in plenty of natural light, and another cupula is designed for the night and features a smaller, warmer, enclosed setting under a smaller window. Cucinella was unable to capitalize on this opportunity.
According to Treehugger, the plan is for Cucinella Architects to create these cupulas as self-sustaining eco-communities, both for the outskirts of urban areas and for developing countries through WASP’s contribution of a sort of do-it-yourself version of the houses. These cupulas would be used in both of these settings.