LafargeHolcim and UK-based development financier CDC Group have combined their resources to create new company 14Trees.
The joint venture dedicated to producing and distributing Durabric, a low-carbon and affordable alternative to traditional bricks made from burnt clay.
The size of the initial joint investment is $10 million from both partners with the intention of additional finance for the company’s ongoing growth.
The LafargeHolcim research and development (R&D) centre will be used to help 14Trees address the rising need for affordable homes for the billions of people across the globe who occupy earth-based dwellings.
Several countries in Africa are dealing with climate change as a result of mass deforestation created by a demand for wood to produce clay burnt bricks. Urbanisation and population growth have expanded the construction sector and put pressure on limited resources and fragile ecosystems.
Durabric is a potential solution for these challenges, as it produces bricks from earth and cement that have been compressed and cured naturally, without firing. This process saves an estimated 14 trees per house. Foregoing the firing phase enables Durabric to reduce greenhouse gas emissions tenfold compared to traditional brickmaking methods.
14Trees will also market a detailed range of unique and innovative building solutions, including roofing and screeds, which will bring down total construction costs by almost 25% compared to traditional approaches.