14Trees creating affordable and sustainable 3D-printed homes and schools in Africa

Housing technology company,14Trees is using 3D printing technology to create affordable and sustainable buildings in Africa.

The 3D printing technology deployed by 14Trees, which uses a proprietary ink from building materials specialist LafargeHolcim, is being pioneered in schools for the first time and is expected to significantly reduce the time and cost of building homes and schools in Malawi.

According to UNICEF, there is a current shortage of some 36,000 classrooms in Malawi which would take 70 years to build using conventional methods. 14Trees believes this could be achieved within a decade using 3D printing.

The first prototype 3d-printed house was built in Lilongwe, of which the walls were printed in just 12 hours. Meanwhile in Salima, the walls of 14Trees’ first school were printed in 18 hours. Using traditional methods, these buildings would have taken several days to complete.

In addition to speeding up the construction process of new buildings, 14Trees’ 3D printing technology also reduces the carbon footprint for building new homes by up to 70% through optimised material use.

14Trees – which is a joint venture between building materials specialist LafargeHolcim and CDC Group, the UK’s publicly owned impact investor – aims to create skilled local jobs with the hiring of local 3D machine operators, material specialists, builders, carpenters, roofers, and painters.

14Trees is expected to extend the project into Kenya and Zimbabwe.

Image Source: 14Trees


Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. 

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