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Holcim and Norman Foster Foundation rethink emergency shelters

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Cement,

  • Concrete-based solutions to turn emergency shelters into sustainable and resilient homes.
  • Concept for building 1000 units and a medical facility in one day.

Holcim and the Norman Foster Foundation are partnering to rethink emergency shelters to turn them into sustainable and resilient homes. Holcim will use its expertise in low-carbon concrete-based solutions and affordable housing to design a concept for building 1000 shelters and a medical facility in one day. The overall goal is to offer dignified and resilient accommodation to the world’s growing number of displaced people.

Jan Jenisch, CEO, Holcim: “Currently we have over 80 million people who have been forced to flee their homes around the world. Emergency shelters can be more than just a roof over their head: they should offer people the dignity and safety of a home. We are excited to collaborate with the Norman Foster Foundation to put our solutions as well as our expertise in affordable housing to work to achieve this goal.”

Lord Norman Foster, President, Norman Foster Foundation: “The Norman Foster Foundation is delighted to be working with Holcim in paving the way towards sustainable and reusable emergency housing. We look forward to the solutions that will be developed by the scholars to address current needs and anticipate future ones.”

The collaboration will kick-start at a one-week workshop that will take place from 6–10 June 2022, in Madrid, Spain. To find solutions to erect 1000 affordable, capable of disassembly, reuse and recycling shelters plus a medical facility in one day, Holcim will focus on innovations such as low-carbon concrete, lightweight prefabricated support structures and green cements for soil stabilisation, combined with its experience in building affordable housing.

This collaboration is in line with Holcim’s commitment to contribute CHF 500 million to create positive social impact, cumulative from 2021 to 2030, by leading affordable housing and infrastructure programs, as well as community initiatives on education, health and skill development. In 2021, Holcim invested more than CHF 40 million in social initiatives and contributed to building and renovating more than 3200 buildings, from houses to schools and hospitals, working closely together with communities from Ecuador to Algeria. Holcim built Africa’s largest 3D-printed affordable housing project in Kenya, developed by its joint venture 14Trees in partnership with CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution.

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