Building materials giant Holcim says it will use its expertise in low-carbon concrete-based solutions and affordable housing to design a concept for building 1,000 shelters and a medical facility in one day. It adds that the overall goal is to offer "dignified and resilient accommodation to the world’s growing number of displaced people".
The collaboration will kick-start at a one-week workshop that is taking place from 6–10 June 2022, in Madrid, Spain. To find solutions to erect 1,000 affordable, capable of disassembly, reuse and recycling shelters plus a medical facility in one day, Holcim says it will focus on innovations such as low-carbon concrete, lightweight prefabricated support structures and green cements for soil stabilization, combined with its experience in building affordable housing.
Jan Jenisch, CEO of Holcim, commented: “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.”
The Norman Foster Foundation promotes the importance of connecting architecture, design, technology and the arts to better serve society, and believes in the value of a holistic education that encourages experimentation through research and projects.
Lord Norman Foster, president of the Norman Foster Foundation, said: “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.”
Holcim says this collaboration is in line with its commitment to contribute CHF500m 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.