Canada to allocate $600 million for new construction tech including 3D printing Construction 3D Printing

In countries and areas like the US, Canada, China, Russia, the Middle East or Africa, the enormous availability of land often clashes with insufficient housing. New technologies such as 3D printing can help build houses better, cheaper, more sustainably and faster. For this reason, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced an over $600 million package that will research and develop new ideas and technology like prefabricated housing factories, mass timber production, penalization, 3D printing, and pre-approved home design catalogs.

“We’re changing the way we build homes in Canada,” the Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, said in a statement. “In Budget 2024, we’re supporting a new construction approach, with a focus on innovation and technology. This will make it easier and more cost-effective to build more homes, faster. You should be able to live in the community you love, at a price you can afford.”

A 2-story building built by Canadian 3D construction printing company nidus 3D using a COBOD 3D printer.

In Canada, housing is one of the biggest pressures on people. Young Canadians are renting more than ever and being priced out of their communities. Families are finding it difficult to get a good place to settle down. Seniors are being forced to downsize. The cost to build homes is too high, and the time it takes to finish projects is too long. We’ve already taken bold action to build more homes, faster, improve access to housing, and make homes more affordable – and we know there is more to be done.

Trudeau, who is known to be very much aware of the latest technological and scientific development, said the Country needs to build more homes and needs to do so like never before, at prices Canadians can afford. That means investing in ideas and technology like prefabricated housing factories, mass timber production, penalization, 3D printing, and pre-approved home design catalogs.

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The upcoming Budget 2024 introduces several measures aimed at addressing housing challenges. Among other things, it entails the establishment of a new $50 million Homebuilding Technology and Innovation Fund, to leverage an additional $150 million from private sector entities and other levels of government. This fund will facilitate the expansion, commercialization, and adoption of innovative housing technologies and materials, particularly for modular and prefabricated homes. Next Generation Manufacturing Canada will lead this initiative.

Built by Twente Additive Manufacturing (TAM), the Fibonacci house was the first 3D printed house in Canada. It was built in 2020 and is listed on Airbnb.

The budget also allocates another $50 million to streamline and modernize home-building processes through regional development agencies. This funding builds upon the progress of numerous ongoing innovative projects nationwide, including endeavors focused on modular housing, mass timber construction, robotics, 3D printing, and automation.

A significant $500 million is earmarked to bolster rental housing, offering low-cost financing via the Apartment Construction Loan Program. This support will aid new rental housing projects employing innovative construction methods, including those by prefabricated and modular housing manufacturers, alongside other homebuilders.

Additionally, a modernized Housing Design Catalogue is slated for launch to standardize up to 50 efficient, cost-effective, and livable home blueprints. With an $11.6 million allocation from Budget 2024, this catalog will encompass templates for modular homes, row housing, and fourplexes, intended to simplify and expedite housing approvals and construction timelines for housing manufacturers, provinces, territories, and municipalities.

These measures are designed to bolster made-in-Canada ideas and technologies while fostering growth in the home-building sector. They leverage innovation to facilitate the necessary scale and pace of construction to alleviate housing shortages. However, they are considered as initial steps toward more comprehensive solutions. The government plans to further engage with stakeholders from the housing, construction, and building materials sectors, as well as labor unions, experts, and other partners, to formulate a comprehensive Canadian industrial policy for homebuilding, aimed at ensuring fairness for future generations.

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Author: Davide Sher

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