Habitat for Humanity of Tuolumne County is excited to announce the construction of two Emergent 3D houses specifically designed to accommodate the aging in place population of Tuolumne County.
These homes will be newly constructed, detached, stand-alone, one-bedroom homes, constructed using Emergent 3D printing technology that will enable them to be completely accessibility friendly. If this 2-home program is successful, we would be able to build a full community of accessible housing for the disabled and aging in place.
As a part of our mission to eradicate substandard housing we launched a Home Repair Program in 2020. This program makes critical home repairs for homeowners throughout Tuolumne County. Through this program we discovered that in Tuolumne County the aging in place population is seriously limited in their housing options and affordability. Due to age and limited income, they are left with few options for housing. Many live in substandard living conditions due to limited income and the rising cost of housing, it is unlikely they will ever be able to purchase a home with a 30-year mortgage. We saw this as an opportunity to fill a need by providing modest, rental homes for the aging in place. By renting these homes at an affordable rate, we would be able to provide housing for the aging in place population in a way that would enable them to live easily and comfortably.
We learned about 3D home builder Emergent located out of Redding, California through community partnerships. CEO Trinity Abila put before them a new challenge, a concept she had of building a first-of-its kind aging in place home, with innovative design concepts that surpass current accessibility building regulations. She wanted them to include real life feedback from Habitat constituents. Emergent 3D, excited by the concept tasked Architect Benjamin Albertson with coming up with an innovative design.
Innovative Design Elements
The entire concept of this building is innovative due to the new concept of its build design. Because these homes are being built using Emergent 3D technology to build these homes out of concrete, we are able to build them in any design we can imagine. With that in mind, we built these homes to specifically meet accessibility standards.
A few of the features include:
- Accessible turnaround spaces throughout the house to allow for ease of changing directions and maneuvering around corners, which helps avoid potential falls
- Low sloping entry ramp with minimal entry threshold provides for easy access for the elderly and those in a wheelchair
- Large windows provide for an abundance of light and the feeling of connection to the outdoors and the natural landscape surrounding the site
- Built in blinds with remote control for easy operation
- 3D printed raised planter beds surround the entire house providing residents with a built in place to garden which helps keep them active, outdoors and instills a natural sense of productivity and purpose
- 3D printed planter benches placed strategically around the home providing a place to sit if residents lose their balance or need to rest
- Separate side entry to facilitate circulation from carport and outdoor deck, which encourages being outside for health and well being
- Large sliding doors facing towards park to encourage social engagement
- Pass through bathroom and closet avoids dead ends which are difficult to maneuver in a wheelchair or with a walker
- Large bedroom allowing for partition to be added creating a future care-giver room if/when needed
- An accessible wet bathroom that will empower the disabled or elderly to enjoy greater independence
- Turnaround spaces throughout allow for ease of changing directions and maneuvering around corners which helps avoid potential for falls
What is Emergent 3D Construction
Emergent 3D is deploying cutting-edge construction robotics to create beautiful, dignifying, fire resistant and eco-friendly homes and commercial buildings. 3D printing technology opens up greater design possibilities versus traditional stick-framed construction, is available on-demand allowing for rapid on-site build times and is extremely efficient due to the design and 3D printed concrete material. These home designs meet and are permitted under the CA 2020 Building Code.
Because our homes are made of concrete, they are fire-resistant. There are certain parts of California that are Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) areas, meaning they are especially prone to wildfires. Our goal is to rebuild in these areas. Because of this, we have decided that as a company, regardless of where we build, all our homes will meet the specific standards for building that a WUI home necessitates.
Emergent 3D’s COBOD printer uses a specially formulated cement to print interior and exterior walls, with insulation blown into the gap between the two barriers. This technique provides optimum insulation, says Matthew Gile, Chief Visionary Officer at Emergent 3D — far superior to the insulative value typical for standard “stick built” home construction. As a part of building in California, we build to a high standard of renewable energy. This means using tankless water heaters, solar panels, electric car charging stations, and low-flow water.
Project Location & Development Timeline
The proposed project site will be in Habitats current workforce housing development called Parrotts Ferry Village. In the development are two lots that cannot support the same style of houses as the rest of the development. These homes will become a part of a larger development that already includes a wide variety of families both young and elderly.
This location is located in Sonora, on the way to Columbia, CA. It is within a reasonable distance to a local market, local restaurants, a gas station, an elementary school, and Columbia recreational state park for walking, locally made historic products, a park, and walking trails.
- In early 2021 we pursued the option to have Emergent 3D construct environmentally friendly, fully accessible homes specifically designed for the aging in place population of Tuolumne County
- 2022 Design Process Began
- January -February 2023 Engineering
- March 2023 Plans submitted to Tuolumne County for approval and permitting
- June 2024 – We hope to fully fund the project through grants and community giving and accept applications for residents
- June 2024 – If fully funded construction will begin
- September 2024 – Construction complete and residents able to move in
Description of Experience
Habitat for Humanity of Tuolumne County has been administering an affordable housing program since our inception in 1999 and upon the completion of Parrots Ferry Village will have house over 40 families, including the innovative aging in place homes.
Our affordable housing is not specifically designed for the aging in place or elderly, but it is designed for the low-income, workforce housing members of our community. We have administered the education, purchase, and successful growth of every home built in Tuolumne County and we have seen every family empowered by having a safe place to call home.
In 2018 we noticed a recurring need in our community for those who already own their homes. These are people who have limited or fixed incomes who own their homes, but have incredibly limited means to repair them. We launched a program to provide zero-down, zero-interest home repair loans to these homeowners in 2020. Through this program we not only manage these loans, but we also make the repairs using our skilled staff, volunteers and local contractors. With the support of local contractors, vendors and suppliers we are able to facilitate lower cost repairs for those in need. Since we launched this program we have helped over 60 families make critical repairs to their homes.