Penquis is receiving $3.3 million to support a project that may transform housing construction methods in Maine and across the nation while addressing the state’s housing crisis. The project has secured private funding as well, garnering the support of KeyBank Foundation, which awarded Penquis a $300,000 grant in support of the initiative.The project, using UMaine's BioHome3D technology, is a collaborative effort involving Penquis, the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center and MaineHousing. New materials and methods developed by the University of Maine will be used to create a first-in-the-nation bio-based 3D-printed neighborhood. The neighborhood will be located in the Greater Bangor area and consist of nine homes that will provide housing for individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness.The homes will be printed using a mix of recycled plastic and wood fiber waste from the Maine woods. Current onsite 3D-printing technology using concrete has limited construction seasons in colder climates and can only print the walls of the structure. The technology developed by the University of Maine can print the entire structure of a home including the walls, floors and roof, and the homes can be fully recycled.The nine homes will be constructed in UMaine's planned Factory of the Future laboratory over four years in phases.
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