Chattanooga pilots 3D-printed shelters

The City of Chattanooga and Branch Technology have partnered to test run building temporary shelters with the use of 3D-printers.

NOOGAtoday | 3D shelters.1

The pilot will include two single-unit shelters over the course of 12 months.

Photo provided by the City of Chattanooga

Table of Contents

The City of Chattanooga has begun experimenting with 3D-printed technology as a new way to serve those who are experiencing homelessness within the community.

With the help of local architectural design company Branch Technology, the city has launched a 12-month pilot program that will utilize two single-unit structures as temporary shelters — all with the help of a 3D printer.

Quick facts

  • The pilot is funded with $19,000 from the city’s innovation fund + Branch Technology has donated its time for design and project management.
  • This initiative is in tandem with the Kelly administration’s housing-first strategy to continue its efforts in reducing the number of those facing unsheltered homelessness.
  • Branch Technology used its patented CompositeCore technology to create a “matrix” lattice + combined it with a robotically-cut fire-rated insulating foam.
  • The structures, located on a vacant parcel of land owned and donated by Olivet Baptist Church off of 10th Street, are powered, temperature-controlled, and fire-safe with a cement-based waterproof finish.

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly said, “We remain focused on closing the gaps that still exist as we shore up our affordable and supportive housing supply over the next 18 months.”

NOOGAtoday | 3D shelters.2

Branch Technology has previously explored the idea of creating 3D-printed shelters as a way to give back to the community.

Photo provided by the City of Chattanooga

This will allow for a safe and secure location for residents to occupy while transitioning into more permanent housing. While in use, the city’s Office of Homelessness and Supportive Housing will oversee the management of the site while offering support and resources to its occupants.

Branch’s Chief Executive Officer Ryan Lusk added, “I love that our technology is part of promoting the dignity of people experiencing homelessness.”

After the pilot period, the city will assess the possibility of scaling up the project at a reduced cost with the help of partnerships + the community.

Want to get involved? The Regional Outreach Cooperative is always seeking donations (think: non-perishable food, water, hygiene products, etc.) + you can inquire about volunteering via email.