IWE partners with Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex to support housing project

Invest WindsorEssex Media Release

Invest WindsorEssex partners with Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex to support first-of-its-kind in Canada housing project

WINDSOR-ESSEX, ONTARIO (Feb. 28, 2022) – Today, Invest WindsorEssex (IWE), the lead economic development organization for the Windsor-Essex region, showcased the simulated design of a 3D printed home as part of a first of its kind in Canada housing project lead by Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex and in partnership with the University of Windsor.

This project will be a historic build as the first 3D printed homes for residential use in this country. An emerging technology, 3D printing could be a game-changing solution to the current housing crisis through increasing efficiency of building, promoting housing density and reducing costs associated with construction.

“The innovation required for this project goes beyond the printing technology. These will be tiny homes but we also want to make sure they are built for accessibility to meet the needs of all members of our community. At Habitat for Humanity our goal is always to build safe, decent and affordable homes,” said Fiona Coughlin, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex. “Through partnering with Invest WindsorEssex, we can be sure we do this before the homes physically exist.”

The team at Invest WindsorEssex (IWE) is excited to partner with Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex and support such an impactful project in our region.

“The current housing crisis is a complex problem requiring creative and innovative solutions. Leveraging the power of IWE’s Virtual Reality CAVE to simulate the design and construction of these 3D printed homes offers a unique Windsor-Essex made solution to this national problem,” said Stephen Mackenzie, President and CEO of IWE. “Using virtual reality and simulation capabilities will allow engineering designs and approvals to be expedited and future owners the ability to experience their new home before they are built.”

This pilot project will result in four units (four-plex design) in a self-contained home and will be available through Habitat’s partnership with The Bridge Youth Resource Centre for individuals and couples in need of attainable housing in the municipality of Leamington.

“We are excited about this innovative solution to addressing the national housing crisis,” said Hilda MacDonald, Mayor of the Municipality of Leamington. “We are very grateful the Municipality of Leamington was selected as the location of this first-of-its-kind fully accessible 3D multi-unit residential build.”

Through the IWE digital twinning program in partnership with St. Clair College, the IWE team, led by digital twin technician Bryan Holmes, used the CAD model and brought the home to life in the Virtual Reality CAVE. This process identified how the new design would ultimately look and allowed builders to perform an accessibility audit on the homes to ensure they are fully accessible prior to construction.

The digital twin is an impressive product that truly highlights what is possible when you utilize cutting edge technologies in both the design and building process to ensure efficiency and accuracy. Invest WindsorEssex is excited to have worked with Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex and community partners to highlight how this cutting-edge building method can be used on future builds locally and across the country.

About Invest WindsorEssex (IWE)
Invest WindsorEssex is the lead economic development agency for the Windsor-Essex region. The focus of the organization is to develop and execute strategies to retain, expand, attract and help new businesses start-up in the Windsor-Essex region. Invest WindsorEssex is led by a board of distinguished community leaders. A team of professional staff provides assistance with location and investment decisions by working one-on-one with businesses to facilitate the process of starting, growing or locating a business in Windsor-Essex.

About Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex
Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex’s mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting home ownership as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty. You can support Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex by donating or shopping at the Restore located at 51 Edinborough St. in Windsor. Visit habitatwindsor.org for more information.

Media Contacts:

Gina Meret-Dybenko
Director, Marketing and Communications
Invest WindsorEssex
Mobile: 519-791-6223
Email: gmeret@investwindsoressex.com 

Fiona Coughlin
Executive Director & CEO
Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex
Mobile: 519-969-3762 x225
Email: fcoughlin@habitatwindsor.org