British International Investment
14 July 2023

14Trees launches first 3D printer for construction made in Africa

14Trees, a joint venture between Holcim and British International Investment, has announced the launch of its new construction-ready 3D printer, Iroko. The 14Trees printer specialises in single to two-storey residential and commercial applications and it will improve construction speed, cost, and flexibility – scaling up digital automation to build resilient and affordable housing, education infrastructure and commercial real estate worldwide.

The real estate sector is responsible for 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, with the bulk coming from manufacturing raw materials, packaging and transportation. 14Trees is committed to reducing the carbon footprint of buildings. This innovative new technology and approach will reduce CO2 emissions compared to standard methods of cement production, contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals on Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure (SDG 9) and Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11).

Commenting on the new innovation by 14Trees, François Perrot, Managing Director, 14Trees said: “As the global infrastructure sector experiences an industrial revolution, the construction space is under more pressure to boost performance, work towards a net-zero future, and fulfil the needs of an evolving real estate and housing sector. Our 14Trees printer is a robust solution to maintain affordability and deliver on structural performance. We’re enhancing the sustainability and profitability of 3D printing for construction – a sector positioned for yield and growth.”

Miljan Gutovic, Region Head for Europe, Holcim commented: “I am excited to see 14Trees shaping the future of construction. This innovation will help accelerate 3D construction printing around the world, fully aligned with Holcim’s mission to decarbonise building at scale.”

Abhinav Sinha, Managing Director and Head of Technology and Telecoms, BII said: “We are thrilled by the ground-breaking milestone that 14Trees has achieved to innovate 3D construction methods in Africa. This latest innovation will help to increase the availability of affordable housing, which is urgently needed on the continent, and also to decarbonise the construction sector. This goes to the heart of our mandate which is to create  productive, sustainable and inclusive outcomes and improve the lives of people in Africa.”

The 14Trees printer is designed to deliver a competitive commercial solution for contractors in multiple markets – enabling long-term investment into the automated construction space and opening up global access to state-of-the-art construction methods.

Construction 3D printing brings a transformative impact to people’s lives through the building of critical infrastructure, such as affordable housing and schools, and forms part of 14Trees’ plan to drive innovation in construction and further develop 3D printing technology in developing economies. The 14Trees printer will be delivered in Q4 2023.

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