14 Trees Company handover green DURABRIC house
By John Saukira
14 Trees a joint venture company established by Lafarge Holcim and CDC which is a UK Development Finance Institution owned by DFID, has handed over a modern house to Dr Zingani Chirwa made from durabrics.
14 Trees have developed an integrated solution for these bricks and are now able to provide reasonably priced complete homes inclusive of solar water geyser. To assist with the financing of these homes, 14 Trees are in partnership with Standard Bank and have a Financing solution available for Malawians to benefit from.
14 Trees Project Manager Mathews Chilemba says the project is aimed at scaling up impact on affordable housing across developing countries including Malawi through DURABRIC homes project.
He said 14 Trees has three products and these are DURABRIC soil stabilized bricks, this brick was primarily developed to provide an affordable alternative to burnt bricks which unfortunately is causing an environmental disaster for Malawi and Africa in general. It takes 14 Trees to burn enough bricks for a three bed roomed house. DURABRIC concrete Hollow blocks and now the integrated offers called DURABRIC homes. Chilemba Said “ The company 14 Trees is so named as it was set up to develop bricks that are made from a formula of soil, river sand and cement (Soil Stabilised Brick-SSB) which when cured creates a solid, extremely strong, long life brick. This was developed by the Research and Development team of LaFarge in Zurich, Switzerland and has been successfully launched in Malawi and the DURABRIC SSB is now being used with equal success for Commercial and Residential dwellings, schools and other properties throughout Malawi.
Chilemba said his company will continue using DURABRIC which does not require cutting down of trees to be used as firewood to cure the bricks.
“By avoiding this firing process, DURABRIC reduces greenhouse gas emissions tenfold compared to traditional fire bricks,” He said.
14 Trees Limited Malawi is held by 14 Trees Holding Company in Switzerland. The company is currently in Malawi, Ivory Coast and Kenya.
In his speech Zingani commended 14 Trees for providing him with the decent housing. He said by cash, he could not afford to own the house. Zengani will be servicing the mortgage with standard bank.