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The feasibility of 3D printing technology as a new construction method for houses in Saudi Arabia

Alhumayani, Hashem 2022. The feasibility of 3D printing technology as a new construction method for houses in Saudi Arabia. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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3D printing technology is taking slow and small steps into the construction industry. Research has shown that several factors affect the adoption of this technology in the construction sector, such as cost, environmental performance, and structural performance. The housing sector in Saudi Arabia faces many challenges, such as the construction cost, the environmental impact on houses, the high demand for houses, etc. Moreover, within Saudi Arabia Vision 2030, the Saudi government has introduced initiatives such as sustainable building initiative and building technology stimulus initiative (BTSI). These initiatives will help improve the current challenges in the housing sector. However, there is a lack of studies regarding the environmental, economic, and social perception of 3D printing technology in large-scale buildings worldwide in general and specifically in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, this research aims to investigate the potential of leveraging 3D printing technology as a new construction method in Saudi Arabia. A comprehensive investigation is employed to compare 3D printing technology and conventional construction methods. It includes environmental, economic, and social aspects, taking into account achieving the highest level of sustainability in the housing sector. To achieve the aim and objectives of this research, first, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is utilised to evaluate and compare the environmental performance of conventional and 3D printing technology construction methods. Second, cost analysis is performed to assess the economic aspect of both construction methods. Third, to examine the social aspect, Diffusion Innovations Theory (DIT) is used to investigate the adoption of 3D printing technology among professionals (Architects and Civil Engineers) in the construction sector in Saudi Arabia using an online survey. The analysis demonstrated that 3D printing technology construction methods had a better environmental and economic impact than conventional construction methods. The online survey analysis revealed that all attributes of DIT (Relative Advantage, Compatibility, Complexity, Observability, and Trialability) supported the adoption of 3D printing technology among Saudi Arabian professionals. Additionally, trialability, Relative Advantage, and Observability had scored the highest attributes that professionals think will affect adoption. The overall findings of this research indicate that 3D printing technology would to be an excellent choice method to be adopted in the construction sector in Saudi Arabia from environmental, economic, and professional’s aspects.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: 3D Printing, Technology, Construction, Houses, Saudi Arabia
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 November 2022
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2022 10:02

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