14Trees, Malawi – Holcim & CDC Group

In partnership with local banks, contractors and NGOs, Holcim is developing a type of sustainable and affordable bricks called Durabricks. These bricks are an innovative mix of soil, cement and water, optimized for mass production. Durabricks are produced in Malawi, not only in cities but also with mobile plants in rural areas where people need them. This creates jobs and has a positive social impact, allowing affordable houses to be built. Apart from avoiding deforestation, of which burnt bricks are one of the main contributors, Durabrics are also:

  • More than three times stronger than burnt bricks
  • Up to 20% cheaper per m² of wall
  • Material and emission saving. They save 1 ton of CO2 for every 120 bricks used and preserve 14 trees for each house built compared to traditional construction methods.

Through design and use of common areas optimization, such as regrouping wet rooms, open spaces and aligned rooms, Holcim has also been able to build modular, affordable and scalable houses for less than USD $20,000. The company is now introducing construction 3D printing to make houses more affordable, with the first 3D printed house in Africa built in Malawi.

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