14Trees, a Holcim and CDC Group joint venture dedicated to accelerating sustainable construction solutions in Africa, is meeting both needs at once. By speeding up the commercialization of new technologies, 14Trees has driven some of our most innovative building projects, such as the world’s first 3D-printed school.
At its core, 14Trees embodies Holcim’s commitment to build more with less: less time, less cost and less environmental impact.
In Malawi, there’s currently a need for 40,000 new school classrooms according to UNICEF, which would take 70 years to build using traditional construction techniques. With 3D printing, one of the principal technologies used in 14Trees’ building projects, it could be done in 10.
Using Holcim’s TectorPrint cement-based ink, 14Trees printed the walls of their houses in 12 hours and those of their school in 18, meaning each building can be completed in about a month - an estimated 20%–30% savings on time compared to conventional techniques. Additionally, the large printing area means the company can build two or three houses at once.