Holcim’s 14Trees launches first construction 3D printer made in Africa

  • Accelerates access to construction 3D printing
  • Proprietary technology offers greater reliability and mobility at lower cost
  • Enables building with less material and a lower carbon footprint
  • Delivery to first customers in Q4 2023


14Trees, a Holcim joint venture with British International Investment, the UK's development finance institution, launches Iroko: the first commercial construction 3D printer made in Africa. Drawing on 14Trees’ experience as a pioneer in the construction 3D printing industry, the proprietary technology delivers greater reliability and mobility at lower cost, accelerating access to smart construction. Delivery to first customers in Africa is scheduled for Q4 2023, with plans to expand in Europe in Q1 2024.

Iroko will help scale up sustainable construction to build better with less: it helps reduce the carbon footprint of buildings by digitally optimizing material use, and is adapted to printing with low-carbon inks such as Holcim’s TectorPrint, which lowers a building’s carbon footprint by up to 70%. It has the capacity to print one- and two-story buildings for residential and commercial applications, from affordable housing to schools.

Miljan Gutovic, Region Head for Europe at Holcim: “I am excited to see 14Trees shaping the future of construction. This innovation will help accelerate construction 3D printing around the world, fully aligned with Holcim’s mission to decarbonize building at scale.”

François Perrot, Managing Director of 14Trees: “The launch of this Africa-made printer builds on our legacy of 3D printing on the continent, from building the world’s first 3D-printed school in Malawi to the world’s largest 3D-printed affordable housing project in Kenya. I look forward to scaling up this transformational technology even further with Iroko, to decarbonize building in Africa and beyond.”

Co-designed with and manufactured by PMSA, a leader in construction equipment in Africa, Iroko is more affordable, reliable and mobile than competing solutions in the industry. Iroko costs 30% less than comparable construction 3D printers on the market, with a lower use cost. It can be mounted manually without a crane or telehandler, and does not require purchasing extensions to build a second floor. For greater reliability, Iroko is equipped with laser systems to control print quality, ensuring perfect print quality 50 times per second.

The printer is equipped with a weather station to provide the operator with real-time conditions that enable contractors to modify parameters accordingly, such as speed and water quantities. Additionally, for easy transport and deployment, Iroko is designed to fit into a single container.


About Holcim

Holcim is a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions with net sales of CHF 29.2 billion in 2022. Driven by its purpose to build progress for people and the planet, its 60,000 employees are on a mission to decarbonize building, while improving living standards for all. The company empowers its customers across all regions to build better with less, with its broad range of low-carbon and circular solutions, from ECOPact to ECOPlanet. With its innovative systems, from Elevate roofing to PRB’s insulation, Holcim makes buildings more sustainable in use, driving energy efficiency and green retrofitting. With sustainability at the core of its strategy, Holcim is becoming a net-zero company with 1.5°C targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Learn more about Holcim on www.holcim.com, and by following us on LinkedIn.

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About 14Trees

14Trees is a joint venture between Holcim and British International Investment (BII), the UK's development finance institution. 14Trees is revolutionizing the future of construction with its 3D printing technology, accelerating the production and delivery of sustainable buildings. Founded in Africa and scaling up around the world, 14Trees contributes to the delivery of social infrastructure, affordable houses, schools and workplaces that improve well-being, support livelihoods and bring people together. Learn more on www.14trees.com.


Important disclaimer – forward-looking statements:

This document contains forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements do not constitute forecasts regarding results or any other performance indicator, but rather trends or targets, as the case may be, including with respect to plans, initiatives, events, products, solutions and services, their development and potential. Although Holcim believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions as at the time of publishing this document, investors are cautioned that these statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of Holcim, including but not limited to the risks described in the Holcim's annual report available on its website (www.holcim.com) and uncertainties related to the market conditions and the implementation of our plans. Accordingly, we caution you against relying on forward-looking statements. Holcim does not undertake to provide updates of these forward-looking statements.

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