Building sustainable homes that are both affordable and environmental friendly is a problem that must be solved if we are to survive the effects of climate change, and surprisingly, China may have found a solution—3D-printed houses.

The technology was perfected by Ma Yihe over 12 years and he believes it’s the ideal solution to the housing crisis plaguing major cities all over the world. In under 24 hours, Yihe’s printers can manufacture 10 small homes for under $5,000 each—a sliver of the cost of a conventional home.

The prefabricated houses are also environmental friendly; they’re built with a special cement made from construction waste instead of traditional brick-and-mortar materials. The design of the houses borrows from the simplified living ethos of the tiny house movement.

Yihe’s 3D-printing technology could revolutionize manufacturing in China and the rest of the world by reducing the financial and environmental cost of construction. There are two obvious problems: the technology is outpacing the creation of safety regulations and building codes for 3D-printed architecture, and 3D-printing robots are soon going to take away construction jobs from humans.

But regardless, it’s impossible to ignore the potential value of the technology, especially in a place like China where over a billion people need a roof over their head. Prefabricated homes could drastically reduce the cost and time it takes to bring housing projects to life while simultaneously adhering to China’s new green initiatives.

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