Upcoming McElroy Estates project in Port Arthur to feature 3D printed houses

Published 12:42 am Thursday, June 1, 2023

What began as a dream for a retired professional baseball player could soon become a new standard for housing in Port Arthur.

In October, Chuck McElroy broke ground on McElroy Estates located at Tallwood Drive near 39th Street.

The intention was to build 46 new homes in Port Arthur.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Since, McElroy has joined with a company that 3D prints houses.

“As I started working on this development to bring more houses back home, I got with a group, which is now my business partners,” he said. “When I went to see the presentation, it was incredible on how many houses that you can do in a shorter period of time, but with good quality housing.”

Jason Jones with BuildUp 3D said their company is a collaboration of people involved in real estate, construction, development, funding and other aspects of development.

“We’ve got a shared passion for innovation and real estate with a vision to provide attainable, sustainable, durable and affordable housing for all,” Jones said. “Our mission is very simple. We leverage and integrate proven construction methods with innovative 3D constructed printed technology in order to develop high quality attainable homes

“3D printed concrete homes are in their infancy in the U.S., but they’re not worldwide, and the concept and the material science and the engineering has already been working for over 30, 40 years now.”

But the wait, Jones said, was for an affordable, portable machine.

BuildUp 3D uses a computer-aided design to print the houses using concrete directly on the slab. The machine goes layer by layer until it reaches the specified width and height of the blueprint.

“We can lay the interior, electrical, plumbing and insulation as we are going along with the print,” Jones said. “These houses, these walls, they’re durable. It’s concrete. They are going to last against fire, water, hurricanes, wood-destroying insects.”

The concrete has been tested with 120 mile per hour winds.

“The potential for the 3D printed market globally right now is projected to be, by the end of 2027, 40 billion,” he said. “This is only growing.”

McElroy Estates will be 46 houses between 1,200 and 1,500 square feet with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a two-car garage. Pricing ranges from $200,000 to $230,000, according to information from BuildUp 3D

The walls are printed within 28 days, and the house is complete within 90.

The company said they intend to use local labor, and plan to pre-sell 10 houses before starting on construction.

“We’ve been waiting on this project, of course, to happen for a very, very long time,” said Councilman Donald Frank Sr. “I went to the website to look at this 3D printing and I would advise anybody to pull that up on YouTube and look at the process of how…it transpires. It’s just exciting. It’s an exciting time. It’s an exciting opportunity.”