Mighty Buildings – Making House Building More Sustainable

We need more homes and we need to reduce emissions! It’s a conundrum how to address these seemingly contradictory pressures – but the American construction company Mighty Buildings’ innovations may show us a way forward.

The building and construction industry accounts for more than a third of the world’s emissions, according to the United Nations. Far from reducing, these building-related emissions are growing – reaching a new high in 2021 according to a UN report published for COP27.

How can this be addressed when we need more homes? 3D Printing is one of the innovations can help. The process produces a fraction of the waste of traditional construction manufacturing, because builders simply print exactly and only what they need. It only requires a small factory with minimal space for storage materials and needs little energy during the production process, according to a report by the World Economic Forum.

3D offers the advantage of speed over traditional construction methods, with claims from 3D printer Cobod that 3D printed houses can be constructed up to 20x faster, resulting in significant time and cost savings. This speed is something to be embraced in the many countries facing significant housing shortages.

It also has the potential to be significantly cheaper. A 2018 study in the academic journal IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering argues that 3D printing can cut costs by at least 35%. This potential cost saving has led international NGO Habitat for Humanity to pilot 3D houses.

3D printing is faster, potentially cheaper, and reduces waste, but it can only become truly sustainable if materials and processes are also ecologically sound. Some builders using green processes still rely on traditional materials, such as cement, which accounts for about 8% of the world’s emissions.

Mighty Buildings have embraced 3D printing, collaborating with leading architects to design ready-made drawing sets, optimised for cost reliability and quick assembly. But they have done more. They have addressed materials as well. Their proprietary material is, they claim, made of 60% recycled glass, is five times the strength of concrete, 70% the weight and produces fewer carbon emissions during manufacturing. They are working hard on innovating on all the materials used in their buildings and have an ambition of delivering carbon negative construction by 2028.

In September 2023 Mighty Buildings announced $52 million in additional funding so clearly investors believe in them. Their work is very much to be welcomed, as we need all the creativity and innovation possible to address our, at times competing, needs for housing and reducing emissions.


This is the twenty-second in a year-long series of weekly blogs by Jean Callanan telling stories of businesses and brands that are doing inspiring and innovative things in addressing #climatechange and creating a better world. Check out more here