Gallery Durabric 1
Gallery Durabric 1
March 2021
By Holcim
Headquarters 6300 Zugo, Suíça

Durabric - Low carbon earth and cement solution for affordable housing

Durabric is an alternative to the widely available artisanal burnt bricks which have caused massive deforestation in Africa, and in particular in Malawi. Durabric is made of soil, sand, cement and water - the mix is poured in a mold and compressed with hydraulic machines. LafargeHolcim R&D focused on the adjustment of the recipe to make sure that most of the soil sources can be used to produce bricks that comply with local standards. 14Trees, LafargeHolcim & CDC group entity dedicated to affordable construction materials in Africa, produces these bricks on large scale and is able to supply individuals and contractors wherever they live in Malawi, thanks to fixed plants in the two largest cities, Blantyre and Lilongwe, and two mobile plants producing bricks in rural areas. CO2 savings related to the use of Durabric have been certified by Gold Standard and led to the issuance of carbon credits whose proceeds are used to expand the reach of the company across Malawi.

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Key features

  • Mechanical performance of the Durabric bricks usually reach 10-12 Mpa vs a norm requiring 3 to 5Mpa and artisanal burnt bricks reaching 1 to 2 Mpa
  • One production line can produce up to 2,000 bricks a day (the number of bricks needed for a simple house) and the capacity to reach 12,000 bricks a day with the existing equipment
  • Bricks are produced without the use of firewood, saving 14 trees for every simple house built in Malawi (thus the name of the company 14Trees producing these bricks)
  • A house made of Durabric contains 67% less CO2 than a house made of artisanal burnt bricks - certified by Gold Standard, the highest standard in terms of Voluntary Emission Reduction (VERs) credits
  • Over 3'000'000 bricks sold since the beginning, contributing to over 25'000 tons of CO2 saved


  • Building with Durabric is up to 20% cheaper versus conventional methods, have a perfect shape reducing the quantity of mortar needed and do not require plastering work
  • Durabric can be manufactured in rural areas using the mobile plants developed by 14Trees (containerized plants), allowing for job creation rural areas

Categories of Application

Maturity Stage

  • Medium and large scale commercialization
  • Small scale commercialization
  • Initial market commercialization
  • Prototype testing in the real world
  • Prototype testing 1:1 in the lab

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