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Yhnova, the first 3D-printed house

crédit Yoan Richard

In a first for France, Egis has been chosen to carry out EPCM for the “Yhnova” project, in partnership with the TICA architecture workshop in Nantes. This project is supported by the Caisse des Dépôts. Egis has submitted a project study (PRO) for the Yhnova operation in Nantes, which involves building a house using a process of “additive synthesis”, also known as “3D printing”, for the very first time in France. The operation came about thanks to the Batiprint process developed by the University of Nantes and its partners.

A mobile robot, equipped with an articulated arm, pours two panels of polyurethane, then pours concrete between these two panels, which thus represent both the formwork and the insulation of the wall. This process takes advantage of the use of digital modelling (BIM).

As design consultants for the TICA architecture firm, Egis provided full EPCM services for the main structure, HVAC and electricity and played a key role in developing the innovative 3D printing process. Structurally, the teams needed to work out the type of reinforcement needed for the printed concrete walls (implementation techniques, rules of calculation to be used, etc.). For air- and watertightness, it solutions were invented to correctly insert the exterior joinery and interface the walls with the roof – all in accordance with industry best practices for such works. The site was then able to undergo an “Appréciation Technique d’Expérimentation” technical appraisal by the CSTB. Finally, at the end of the works, Egis was responsible for evaluating the carbon impact of the construction of the building.

Economic and environmental benefits

This process reduces construction time, improves thermal insulation, and reduces construction operating costs. The use of a mobile robotic tool enables a new approach to working methods in the field of construction, which, like in industry, are crucial to reducing the arduousness/physical stress of work and help limit jobs at risk or which can lead to RSI.

Read the article “What if we printed social housing?” on the Egis Convictions blog