New Story is most known for 3D printing homes, but that’s only a small part of our story. It’s even just a small part of the community’s story they’re printed in.
Nearly 500 miles southeast of Mexico City, on 74 acres in Nacajuca, lies Innovation Village.
What is Innovation Village?
Innovation Village is a community built on the pillars of partnership, technology, and human-centered methodology.
Long term, there will be 500 homes, 200 are paid for by our generous donors whose donations stretch even further through government subsidies provided per home. The government is partnering with another affordable housing organization to fund the other 300. The community will house mixed-income families, with 40% of the families having a household income below $150/month (the 200 homes funded through New Story) and 60% of the families having an income below $600/month. Research has shown mixed-income communities create a greater developmental impact over time.
Since this community is the first in the world to house 3D printed homes, the Mexican government’s eagerness to collaborate has allowed us to test new technologies and design differently for greater impact.
What’s the goal?
Our hope of Innovation Village is to prove the possibilities within affordable housing when partners work together to bring world-renowned innovation to families who need them most.
We want to be a case study for how to work with local governments to build more homes — quicker, cheaper, and stronger — for the world’s most vulnerable families. The tools, technologies, and processes used across this community have the opportunity to inspire others working on this problem. How can we expect governments and nonprofits to utilize innovations if they haven’t seen them done successfully? Global homelessness is growing too quickly for traditional construction methods to catch up. We need to build new solutions.
What makes Innovation Village different?
There are currently three leading technologies featured in Innovation Village: 3D printed homes, Ecoblock homes, and Cool Roofs. Pairing these technologies with a human-driven design is creating a unique home for thousands and inspiration for more.
3D Printed Homes
Our initial design called for 50 3D printed homes. Due to complexities brought about by the pandemic, we have reduced it to 20. The point of partnering with ICON to launch the community with 3D printing was to prove to the world that it is possible. Not only possible but also scalable and a reliable way to build homes at a higher quality than traditional methods.
We have learned a lot along the way — cutting the printing costs by 25% from our first batch of homes. We’re thrilled to see these 20 homes catalyze similar solutions worldwide.
We’re teaming up with our local partner, Echale, to build the other 180 homes using Ecoblock technology. Ecoblock is a sustainable and resilient innovation made from compressed earth and 4x stronger than traditional cinder blocks.
Composed of 90% earth and 10% concrete, Ecoblocks are easier to reuse, require fewer materials, and creates less waste. They also fuel the local economy by sourcing local material paid at fair prices.
Nacajuca is one of the hottest places to live in Mexico. Our Lean Participatory Design workshop revealed we needed to design accordingly. For instance, because of the heat, the families prefer to cook outside. So, we created the home layout to empower those cultural preferences.
We knew we wanted to test technology to address the growing challenge of high temperatures for families. Cool roofs are waterproofing paint that reflects sunlight and helps to insulate the home and keep it cool. We are testing this technology on 50 homes and will measure the impact before applying it to the entire community.
How you can help
For the first time, we are behind on funding a community. COVID-19 has brought more challenges to the already difficult task of tackling such a project. As uncertainty grows, the traditional donor reacts by playing it safe with their investments. This is understandable, but it won’t help create the change that is needed to completely reinvent a sector that needs new solutions.
Innovation Village is funded by dreamers — people who believe we can build better and want to play their part in making it happen. We are looking for forward-thinking people eager to invest in innovation for the good of others.
To keep our government subsidies, we need to fully fund 100 homes by the end of the year. If we fail to complete funding by the end of 2020, we will lose $3,000 of subsidies per home. The good news is that means if you give now, every donation is stretched further. A $10,000 donation makes the impact of $13,000.
Would you consider donating towards this one-of-a-kind project? We need $1M in funding by the end of the year. This is a big number, but we know we have bold dreamers who want to see this project come to life. We would be honored for you to partner with us by providing a gift of any size. . The best part? Every dollar you give goes directly to building these homes.
Why be a part?
Many generous parties are playing their role in building Innovation Village. From local partners to governments to donors, they’re each contributing to this monumental moment in the fight to end global homelessness. Soon, this community will serve as an example of what other governments, NGOs, and developers can build with tech and collaboration. You can be a part of this story.
Are you ready to help us build one of the most innovative communities in the history of housing?
[Have questions or want to collaborate? Please reach out to Sarah@newstorycharity.org]