Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) of the US Department of Energy (DOE) has unveiled a 3D-printed building designed by the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM).
The laboratory's Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) demonstration unveiled the 210ft² house at the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Industry Day event.
Prototyping for the project was conducted in less than a year, which involved support from the University of Tennessee (UT), Clayton Homes, General Electric, Alcoa, NanoPore and Tru-Design.
The building is powered by a 3D-printed vehicle developed by ORNL.
The development is expected to function as an integrated energy system that connects a natural gas-powered hybrid electric vehicle with the solar-powered building through a lab-developed wireless technology.
Integration of the 38ft x 12ft x 13ft building with the 3D-printed vehicle makes it possible to connect two independent energy streams with buildings and transportation.
ORNL researcher Roderick Jackson, who led the AMIE demonstration project, said: "Working together, we designed a building that innovates construction and building practices and a vehicle with a long enough range to serve as a primary power source.
"Our integrated system allows you to get multiple uses out of your vehicle."
ORNL Energy and Environmental Sciences associate laboratory director Martin Keller said: "We're looking at large community issues from the single-unit level.
"Our research provides solutions on a small-scale, which will translate to a significant reduction in energy use and an increase in cost savings when ramped-up to a national, and even global, level."
Image: Oak Ridge National Laboratory's AMIE demonstration connects a 3D-printed building and vehicle. Photo: courtesy of Carlos Jones / Oak Ridge National Laboratory.