14 Trees has announced the commencement of what they call Africa’s largest 3D-printed affordable housing project in Kenya. Development is set to start in early 2022, they say, at a place called Mvule Gardens near Kilifi town. The housing complex will offer 1 bed, 2 bed and 3 bed units starting at KES 2.46 million.
14 Trees is a joint venture between Holcim and the CDC Group. It is focused on building affordable houses, schools and social infrastructure in Africa. It was set up with the aim of accelerating the production and commercialisation of environmentally friendly affordable construction solutions in Africa.
The Mvule project will utilize Holcim’s proprietary ink, TectorPrint which the local subsidiary, Bamburi Cement, will be introducing in the market soon. The Tector range gives the 3D-printed walls structural function to bear the load of the building.
The Kenyan government has set an ambitious target of delivering 500,000 units in 5 years under the President’s big four agenda namely the Affordable Housing Project (AHP).
14 Trees believes futuristic 3D-printing and smart design will accelerate the country towards this target since house completion is faster – a wall can be built in just 12 hours compared to almost four days with conventional building techniques while also reducing the environmental footprint of a house by more than 50%.
Speaking during the unveil of the 3D-printed show house in Athi River, Mr. Charles Hinga, the PS in the State Department for Housing and Urban Development said: “In line with the Affordable Housing Programme, and given the effects of climate change being experienced the world over, this project is indeed timely and opportune having achieved EDGE Advanced Certification. This is evidence that the project will benefit both the planet and the house owner through the reduction of carbon emissions during construction and lowering the water and energy costs in the running of the home. I also note that the cost of construction per square meter is reasonable, between Kshs 30,000 to Kshs 31,000 per sqm, thus lowering the sale price per square meter”.
Colm Halley, General Manager 14 Trees Kenya: “We are excited to be building one of the world’s largest 3D-printed affordable housing projects in Kenya. The Government of Kenya has made huge efforts to accelerate the development of Affordable Housing in Kenya. 14Trees is committed to using innovative technology to support this, with houses that have a lower carbon footprint than traditional methods. The announcement of Mvule Gardens and the inauguration of the show house in Nairobi are an extremely exciting step to deliver beautiful affordable, eco-friendly homes in Kenya.”
Seddiq Hassani, the Managing Director of Bamburi Cement also noted: “As part of Bamburi’s commitment to supporting the Government of Kenya’s Big 4 Agenda on affordable housing, we are delighted to be supplying our innovative building materials for this truly ground-breaking project. The material to be used in Mvule Gardens is part of our soon to be launched Tector range of mortar products, reaffirming our commitment to offering the Kenyan market with the highest quality, most innovative and greenest building materials”.