A Robot-Made Habitat for Mars Could Bring Sustainable Building Down to Earth

A hypothetical Martian neighborhood of Marsha dwellings. Rendering courtesy of AI SpaceFactory and Plomp. According to a 2018 report by the International Energy Agency and UN Environment, the global construction industry is responsible for 39% of energy-related carbon-dioxide emissions. That is a huge, scary number—but one that comes with an equally large opportunity to mitigate climate change. The 2015 Paris climate talks revealed that by using existing technology, construction could cut global carbon emissions by up to a third . Such a reduction requires finding a new way for the industry to move forward, or as CEO and chief architect of New York–based AI SpaceFactory David Malott puts it, “a high-tech way of going backward.” As a member of the Autodesk Technology Center residency program in Boston, AI SpaceFactory is pursuing a new path for construction practices that are kinder and gentler to the Earth. But the company’s vision for the future of building started with a robot-built habitat for another planet: Mars. Material pellets such as these could be sourced from the dirt local to the project site. Courtesy of AI SpaceFactory. AI SpaceFactory won the NASA 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge. Shown is the Marsha habitat under construction at […]

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