Colorado can now celebrate Greeley as the new capital of 3D construction printing thanks to an innovative public-private partnership with Alquist 3D.
Alquist 3D is receiving over $4 million in support and incentives from Greeley and the state to transform the region into the epicenter of high-tech 3D home and infrastructure printing.
The public-private partnership between the city, state and Alquist also involves close collaboration with Aims Community College to train students and create an economic ecosystem with an emphasis on innovation and workforce development.
“There is nowhere else on the planet where so much is happening all in one place to move structural 3D printing forward,” Alquist Founder and Chairman Zachary Mannheimer said about Colorado and Greeley.
“Colorado is committed to building a house for every budget, and we are thrilled Alquist 3D has selected Greeley for their expansion. They will create 79 new good-paying jobs in our state and help lower construction costs for housing and infrastructure,” said Governor Polis.
“We are excited to welcome Alquist with open arms as they put down roots in Greeley,” said City Manager Raymond Lee. “Greeley is set to become the center of 3D technology in Colorado, and a powerful hub for affordable housing. This is a boon for our community, bringing job growth, career pathways and economic opportunity that will benefit everyone.”
Alquist 3D considered many location options when searching for a new headquarters site. Colorado and Greeley in particular emerged as an ideal fit for the company’s expansion plans. The public-private partnership took shape quickly:
- Colorado is providing a $1,097,242 Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit over eight years for the creation of up to 79 net new jobs, as well as a Strategic Fund Incentive for $335,000 over a five-year period for the creation of up to 67 net new jobs.
- Greeley is investing $2.85 million. Greeley’s funding includes an upfront forgivable loan, contingent on Alquist’s relocation of its headquarters to the city and the company’s commitment to stay at least five years. The city is also helping Alquist with $100,000 of its relocation expenses. The largest portion of the city’s incentive package, $2 million, is tied to Alquist’s purchase of equipment, staffing and construction in Greeley.
“We’re excited to have a home where all the pieces of the puzzle to commercialize this industry are coming together,” added Mannheimer. “We’re thankful to Colorado for sharing in this vision, and to Greeley for its courage and hard work throughout this process. It takes a lot of guts for a municipality to go all in on a new technology.”
Plan Unfolding in Stages
- Alquist is moving its headquarters from Iowa City, Iowa, to Greeley, Colorado. The relocation process should be completed this fall.
- Next, once Alquist’s production facility and showroom are settled on the east side of downtown, the company will begin robotically “printing” 3D structures for a variety of clients.
- Alquist’s first project will be 3D printing infrastructure for the City of Greeley, specifically curb systems with integrated drainage. The infrastructure will be 3D printed at Aims and trucked to installation sites chosen by the city.
Alquist is also working closely with Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity. The company has a home-printing contract with the nonprofit organization to produce at least 100 of the nearly 500 structures planned for the Hope Springs project near the intersection of 29th Avenue and 32nd Street along the border of Greeley and Evans.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
The company’s innovative workforce development partnership with Aims Community College will lead to many new jobs for young locals, Mannheimer explained.
He said Alquist will be recruiting some of its talent from the college’s 3D-printing certificate program, a weeks-long workforce development process in which students will learn how to run the robotic 3D printer and control its software.
The company is also partnering with the college’s existing robotics program, where students will be learning how to actually build the giant robots used for 3D printing. All of this education will be on-site at the campus and will position students who have completed the programs for priority hiring by Alquist.
More Housing by Leveraging Technology
Mannheimer sees the day when 3D printing is one of the top mainstream residential and commercial construction methods in the U.S. and globally. The benefits and advantages of 3D printing include speed, sustainability, climate resilience, affordability, and ease of maintenance.
Alquist 3D will help Colorado address its serious housing shortage: 3D home printing is a solution to rapidly building and adding new housing stock in the state along the entire price-point spectrum.
Beyond Colorado, Mannheimer noted that both the market and regulatory responses to housing shortages have tended to focus on increasing housing supply through new and different financing mechanisms instead of attacking the problem with technology to accelerate construction and optimize physical structures.
“Homeowners crave innovation that makes their lives easier,” said Mannheimer. “Alquist 3D has innovation in its DNA. The work we will be doing in Colorado, particularly in Greeley, will take that innovation to a whole new level.”
Striving for Sustainability
The built environment contributes approximately 40% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally, with about 13% of that coming from building and infrastructure materials and construction. GHG emissions are driving climate change, which in turn is creating extreme temperature and weather impacts. Colorado is experiencing those impacts, including storms, extreme heat, water shortages, and wildfires. Alquist 3D is positioned to be part of the solution, working with Aims Community College to innovate paths toward:
- A carbon-negative 3D-printing material.
- Big reductions in waste and water usage compared to traditional stick-built construction.
- Storm- and fire-resistant building designs and materials.
“Our partnership with Greeley and Aims, which we’ll be creating over the next 36 months, will help us reach the day when we are actually pulling carbon out of the environment, transforming the 3D-printing construction industry into a sustainability leader,” said Mannheimer.
Alquist 3D will be creating 3D-printed public infrastructure — such as sidewalks, curbs, and drainage — in Greeley and in parts of Habitat for Humanity’s Hope Springs community. 3D printing will make this infrastructure modular, enabling the city to easily replace worn sections with 3D-printed components. That work is planned to start as early as autumn 2023.
RIC Technology Licensing Deal
Alquist 3D has an exclusive licensing agreement with RIC Technology, a global, award-winning full-service robotic construction company capable of completing large-scale projects. Alquist and RIC Technology are working closely together to test and enhance 3D printing technology, materials and processes.