Holcim and Norman Foster Foundation rethink emergency shelters

  • Concrete-based solutions to turn emergency shelters into sustainable and resilient homes
  • Concept for building 1,000 units and a medical facility in one day

Holcim and the Norman Foster Foundation are partnering to rethink emergency shelters to turn them into sustainable and resilient homes. Holcim will use its expertise in low-carbon innovative concretebased solutions and affordable housing to design a concept for building 1,000 shelters and a medical facility in one day. The overall goal is to offer dignified and resilient accommodation to the world’s growing number of displaced people.

Jan Jenisch, CEO, Holcim: “Currently we have over 80 million people who have been forced to flee their homes around the world. Emergency shelters can be more than just a roof over their head: they should offer people the dignity and safety of a home. We are excited to collaborate with the Norman Foster Foundation to put our solutions as well as our expertise in affordable housing to work to achieve this goal.”

Lord Norman Foster, President, Norman Foster Foundation: “The Norman Foster Foundation is delighted to be working with Holcim in paving the way towards sustainable and reusable emergency housing. We look forward to the solutions that will be developed by the scholars to address current needs and anticipate future ones.”

The collaboration will kick-start at a one-week workshop that will take place from 6–10 June 2022, in Madrid, Spain. To find solutions to erect 1,000 affordable, capable of disassembly, reuse and recycling shelters plus a medical facility in one day, Holcim will focus on innovations such as low-carbon concrete, lightweight prefabricated support structures and green cements for soil stabilization, combined with its experience in building affordable housing.

This collaboration is in line with Holcim’s commitment to contribute CHF 500 million to create positive social impact, cumulative from 2021 to 2030, by leading affordable housing and infrastructure programs, as well as community initiatives on education, health and skill development. In 2021, Holcim invested more than CHF 40 million in social initiatives and contributed to building and renovating more than 3,200 buildings, from houses to schools and hospitals, working closely together with communities from Ecuador to Algeria. Holcim built Africa’s largest 3D-printed affordable housing project in Kenya, developed by its joint venture 14Trees in partnership with CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution.

About Holcim

Holcim builds progress for people and the planet. As a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, Holcim is enabling greener cities, smarter infrastructure and improving living standards around the world. With sustainability at the core of its strategy Holcim is becoming a net zero company, with its people and communities at the heart of its success. The company is driving circular construction as a world leader in recycling to build more with less. Holcim is the company behind some of the world’s most trusted brands in the building sector including ACC, Aggregate Industries, Ambuja Cement, Disensa, Firestone Building Products, Geocycle, Holcim, Lafarge and Malarkey Roofing Products. Holcim is 70,000 people around the world who are passionate about building progress for people and the planet through four business segments: Cement, Ready-Mix Concrete, Aggregates and Solutions & Products.

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

Learn more about Holcim for architects here.


About the Norman Foster Foundation

The Norman Foster Foundation promotes interdisciplinary thinking and research to help new generations anticipate the future. The first mission of the Norman Foster Foundation is to make visible the centrality of architecture, infrastructure and urbanism for the betterment of society. To this end, the second mission is to encourage new thinking and research across traditional boundaries in order to help younger generations anticipate the challenges of future change. In particular, the foundation speaks to those professionals who are concerned with the environment— architects, engineers, designers, urbanists, civic leaders, planners and artists. This is at the heart of the foundation’s holistic approach to design and is ever more relevant as populations shift to cities. With the implications of climate change, robotics and artificial intelligence, sustainable design is not about fashion but about survival.

The Foundation holds the Norman Foster Archive and Library, which provide a window into the larger narrative and history of our built environment through the work of Norman Foster. This is complemented and supported by drawings and models from other significant architects such as Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Charles and Ray Eames, Buckminster Fuller, Richard Rogers, Zaha Hadid and Tadao Ando. Through its research initiatives and programmes, the Norman Foster Foundation encourages the transfer of advanced knowledge in a wide range of design fields. The Foundation’s educational initiatives are structured around research, workshops, fellowships and forums, built around the Foundation’s core objectives. The Norman Foster Foundation is based in Madrid and operates globally.

Visit https://www.normanfosterfoundation.org/ for more information or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Vimeo.


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.