How Kenya Plans to Build “Africa’s Largest” 3D-Printed Affordable Housing Project

3d printed housing project

Using 3D printing technology, Kenya aims to build 52 houses in a project dubbed Mvule Gardens in Kilifi Mombasa in record time, a first for the continent.

The project which will be Africa’s largest 3D-printed affordable housing project will be developed by 14Trees, a joint venture between Holcim and CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution.

14Trees built the first 3D-printed prototype house in Lilongwe, Malawi – built with precision in less than 12 hours, the company then built the world’s first 3D printed school in the Salima district of Malawi.

This project was made possible by Holcim’s proprietary ink, TectorPrint, giving the walls structural function to bear the load of the building. The new technique will reduce the environmental footprint by more than 50pc compared to traditional processes and lowers CO2 emissions typical to standard methods of cement production.

Further, 14Trees identifies natural fiber components to strengthen best practices in 3D printing for construction in Africa and creates locally based skilled jobs in sustainability and 3D technology operations, among other areas.

The new 52 house community will be part of the Green Heart of Kenya regenerative ecosystem, a Kenyan model for inclusive and climate-resilient cities.

14Trees plans to begin construction of Mvule Gardens in the first quarter of 2022.

What they said:

We are excited to be building one of the world’s largest 3D-printed affordable housing projects in Kenya. With today’s rapid urbanization, over three billion people are expected to need affordable housing by 2030. This issue is most acute in Africa, with countries like Kenya already facing an estimated shortage of two million houses. By deploying 3D printing, we can address this infrastructure gap at scale to increase living standards for all,” says Jan Jenisch, CEO, Holcim.

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Tenbite Ermias, Head of Africa and Africa MD, CDC Group, said: “14 Trees is pioneering the use of leading-edge technology to address one of Africa’s most pressing development needs – affordable housing – to create life-changing infrastructure for whole communities.”

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