Inaugurating the first dedicated DURABRIC plant in Malawi

Inaugurating the first dedicated DURABRIC plant in Malawi

For LafargeHolcim, building a sustainable future for both people and the environment means providing affordable housing, reducing CO2 emissions and protecting forests and soil. With the inauguration of a new DURABRIC plant in Malawi, we will do just that on an unprecedented industrial scale - thanks to the work of our dedicated affordable housing joint-venture 14Trees.


Tell me more about DURABRIC

Not your average brick, DURABRIC is a soil stabilized brick, or SSB, a brick made of a mixture of compressed earth, sand and cement. This unique combination of materials means that DURABRIC bricks do not require traditional firing in a kiln but are instead cured naturally. DURABRIC brings a host of benefits compared to conventional burnt bricks:

  • Reduced deforestation and soil degradation.
  • A ten-fold reduction in CO2 emissions.
  • Up to a 20 reduction in the cost of wall construction.
  • A sustainable path to affordable, attractive and comfortable homes.
  • Up to a three-fold increase in compressive strength.
  • 10,000 trees saved with DURABRIC since 2013.

One year after the launch of 14Trees, LafargeHolcim’s and CDC’s joint venture to scale-up DURABRIC, 13 July 2017 marks the next exciting step in its development with the inauguration of a dedicated manufacturing plant in Malawi. DURABRIC is LafargeHolcim’s affordable building solution whose unique blend of earth, sand and cement removes the need for firing, helping fight deforestation.

Equipped with an automatic production line, the Malawi plant is the first to produce DURABRIC on an industrial scale. The new plant will chiefly supply contractors from NGOs and development organizations’ projects. With the correct training, mix-design and production methods, DURABRIC can also be produced on a job site - an innovative offer to 14Trees' customers.

"Once we can start building with SSBs like DURABRIC throughout the country, we can preserve our natural resources, stop soil erosion and improve air quality.."

Benjamin Katola, Managing Director of Built Environs

Faced with high demand, 14Trees is expected to expand the DURABRIC offer into other countries, particularly across sub-Saharan Africa. The future development of DURABRIC will play a significant role in LafargeHolcim’s 2030 plan for sustainable development, building an innovative, climate-neutral construction sector that strives to enhance the quality of life for all.


What is 14Trees?

A joint-venture company between LH and CDC the UK’s Development Finance Institution owned by DfID, formed with the goal of scaling up our Affordable Housing solutions across developing countries.

14Trees will focus on the production and promotion of DURABRIC, our affordable, low-carbon construction solution, to various developing countries affected by deforestation resulting from the use of wood-fired bricks. Through DURABRIC, 14Trees will build better lives.