3D printing has become a staple of architecture and design in recent years, but a recent scientific development has led to an eco-friendly version of the construction process, using soil instead of concrete as the primary material used in the construction. The idea is that this technology could revolutionise the world of construction over the years to come, as we all look at ways in which we can reduce carbon emissions and reduce our carbon footprint both individually and on building projects. Architecture firms must always look to take the leads with environmental concerns, as it is this sector which designs and plans how the world that we live in is shaped – will this new 3D technology help change things for the better once again?

It is an incredibly interesting prospect to think that the soil that you have in your back garden could possibly be used as the material to 3D print your next house! Soil as a 3D printing material is a revolutionary idea that could change the way we look at construction in the future. Scientists have developed a method that uses local soil to create the blueprint for greener buildings within construction projects. It could very well be the sustainable alternative to concrete that we have been searching for.

Currently, concrete makes up 7% of carbon dioxide emissions, according to data from the International Energy Agency. With this new approach to using soil in 3D printing, it is hoped that the versatility will allow for the printing of entire architectural facades, according to professor of chemistry and materials science and engineering at Texas A&M University, Sarbajit Banerjee.

One of the worries about this new thought though, is how to print using soil for entire structures, whilst getting it all past the current building and planning regulations and legislation. This will be a challenge that must be overcome prior to it rolling out for widespread use. Concrete remains the primary materials that is used in construction world-wide, but the problem with it is that it cannot be recycled. It also takes a lot of energy to mix it up in the first place and to transport it. The research into 3D printing materials wanted to find a solution to this problem and it looks like soil from the local area of a construction project could be the answer.

Looking for environmentally friendly processes, materials and design within the world of architecture and construction is always an important part of thinking about the future. The world has changed beyond recognition in such a short space of time and with the help of architects, designers, urban planners and scientists, we desperately need new innovations and ways to change how we build for the future. This is why the world of architecture is so important to the environment, as without innovation, the same patterns will be repeated, and the world will continue to sink deeper into the environmental oblivion. Hopefully, this 3D printer that utilises soil could be one of many fascinating changes that are integral to a brave new world.