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Low carbon earth and cement solution for affordable housing

March 2021
Gallery Durabric 1
Gallery Durabric 1


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. Holcim 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, Holcim & 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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Label Date March 8, 2021
By Holcim
From Switzerland
Maturity stage Medium and large scale commercialization
Looking For Visibility

The environmental benefits

  • Mechanical performance of the Durabric bricks usually reaches 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

The Financial benefits

  • 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 in rural areas

Activity Region

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Company Profile


Building progress for people and the planet

View company profile Solution website
Headquarters 6300 Zug, Switzerland
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The information set out above, is solely for the purposes of information and the Solar Impulse Foundation does not provide any guarantee as to its authenticity, completeness or accuracy. This information does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation to buy into, transact or to enter into any agreement with any of the parties or persons mentioned above. Potential investors or interested parties are solely responsible for their investment or business decisions and for performing any due diligence required by the circumstances. The innovator Holcim has asserted ownership of the intellectual property rights for images, videos, and content showcased above, affirming full and unrestricted usage rights, and has provided explicit permission for the Solar Impulse Foundation to publish such information designated as "public" in the application form.