Israeli designers came up with a 3D-printing machine that could print seeded soil. The machine was unveiled as part of Jerusalem Design Week 2022. The designers presented an installation that featured several structures built by their robot. With proper maintenance, plants grew from the soil, covering the structures in a green layer of growing radishes.
The machine was conceptualized as a way to show the potential of soil as a construction material. It aims to address a problematic side of the construction sector as concrete and steel account for 22% of all carbon emissions, according to the 2018 Global ABC Global Status Report.
Construction with soil has always been possible. Take a gander in history books and one can find photos of mud houses. But implementing this on a wider scale has always been limited because there are no machines to help engineers with this approach to construction.
Before more people agree to reside and work in living garden buildings, there are still problems to address such as how sturdy soil can be as a construction material. After all, the tallest structure at the installation was just a 5-feet column. Nevertheless, the designers are confident that with the right geometry, construction with soil should be more reliable.