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Friday, 03 March 2017 20:47

Davos | World Economic Forum | Future of Construction

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moladi - World Economic Forum - Future of Construction moladi - World Economic Forum - Future of Construction moladi

Davos | World Economic Forum | Future of Construction

moladi Future of construction

moladi - Future of Construction

Strong population growth in many developing and emerging countries and mass urbanization – an estimated 40,000 people moving into African cities every day – create a strong demand for affordable housing. Beyond housing, many developing countries are lagging behind in access to social infrastructure and public services such as schools, hospitals or the justice system. Consider Tanzania: the country faces a shortage of 3,115 courtrooms.

Moladi Construction System aims to address that magnificent challenge by providing a scalable, low-tech and low-skilled affordable building solution using in-situ casting. Founded in 1986 by South African social entrepreneur Hennie Botes, the company aims to replace the classic brick-and-mortar construction with an easier method: using lightweight, removable and re-usable plastic formwork that are filled with a patented fast setting aerated mortar to cast entire houses on-site. The process is deliberately designed to be labor intensive and mostly uses local supplies (apart from the reusable formwork and a special additive (MoladiChem) to boost local employment and local production without requiring prior construction experience.

Train the unemployed to build for the homeless - Hennie Botes - Founder and CEO

The main advantage of this affordable construction solution is its social acceptance – a challenge encountered by any affordable building project, especially if the solution is imported from abroad. In the case of Moladi, its integration into a wider effort to boost the community and the fact that people can knock on the cast walls to check for solidity – the sound is the same solid sound as traditional brick-and-mortar walls – helps to gain immediate approval. Gypsum-board walls for instance are regarded as less strong  and weather resistant. As a consequence, the solution has been applied in 20 countries in Africa (e.g. South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania), South Asia (Sri Lanka) and Latin America (Mexico, for two-storey buildings and Panama) and the company is currently planning expansion into the United Kingdom.

Due to its strong track record and advantages, the government of Tanzania has selected Moladi as the most cost-effective solution to address its courthouse shortages. A 1,200 square metres pilot project has been successfully completed – faster and cheaper than alternative solutions – and the courthouse was inaugurated by the Tanzania’s Prime Minister.

Download the full case study to read more about the application of Moladi’s Construction System to these larger projects and the special barriers the company had to overcome. - Download

building the future moladi

Building the Future 

For more information on moladi visit - www.moladi.co.za

Read 1074 times Last modified on Saturday, 04 March 2017 23:13
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moladi - Plastic Formwork -low cost housing affordable Housing building construction

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  • FUTURE of CONSTRUCTION

    moladi awarded 16 additinal Courthouses for the Judiciary of Tanzania

    Hennie Botes met with the Judiciary Department of Tanzania to conclude an additional contract to construct 16 more courthouses after the successful completion of the previous 6 units by implementing moladi. moladi was chosen to construct the courthouses in various locations due to the lack of skilled artisans - Time - Quality - Cost.

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  • Builder of the FUTURE - moladi

    Moladi Construction Systems has developed a way in which houses and social infrastructure can be built faster and cheaper, without jeopardising the structural integrity of buildings - Builder of the FUTURE

    Glenneis Kriel - Finweek - Download

    Builder of the FUTURE - moladi

    While most other industries have undergone tremendous change, the building and construction sector has seen little new technological breakthroughs over the past fifty years. That was until Hennie Botes, the founder of Moladi, came along.

    Realising the struggles of the poor in getting good quality housing, already in the 1980s, Botes decided to do something about it. His solution was the development of a whole new building system, which he named Moladi. The system replaces the cumbersome bricklaying process with an approach similar to plastic injection moulding.

    moladi moulds Houses Hennie Botes

    A “mould” is produced by training local unskilled labour to assemble reusable plastic injection moulded panels, commonly known as formwork. The formwork is erected on an engineered designed raft foundation. Doors, windows, electrical and water reticulation are mounted in the appropriate positions onto the formwork. Thereafter the formwork is filled with a quick-setting aerated mortar, consisting of sand, cement and an admixture. The house is left to set overnight and the formwork is removed the following day and re-erected on the next foundation. The superstructure is finished by fixing conventional roof, plumbing fixtures, ceiling etc., hanging doors, glazing and painting.

    Botes has built thousands of houses all around the world – from Mexico to Sri Lanka– with the system. One of his greatest recent breaks, was the construction of a 1600 square metre courthouse, funded by the World Bank in Tanzania this year, which the World Economic Forum (WEF) has named one of six buildings to revolutionise the construction industry. Future of Construction |World Economic Forum

    According to the WEF, the Kibaha District Courthouse was built for half the money it would have cost when using conventional methods at about 250 USD/square meter. The building was completed in six months, whereas it would have taken three years with traditional methods.  

    What did you do before you started Moladi?

    I am a toolmaker by trade and completed my apprenticeship with the South African Railways. Toolmaking entails the making of steel moulds to create plastic components. Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich, made a huge impression on me, especially the suggestion that you should “solve a problem and sell the solution.”

    When my wife fell pregnant with our first child, we heard a lot of people complaining about how difficult it was to bath babies having to carry bath water to and fro. To solve the problem, I developed and patented a plastic baby bath that fitted across the bathtub. The design was sold all over the world, resulting in 20 000 sales per month in five years time. The invention gave me the freedom and finances to start Moladi.

    Why did you start Moladi?

    One of the problems in South Africa, actually with most countries, is that we do not necessarily teach our children things in which they might thrive. We have this dated British schooling system, where you are nothing if you are bad in maths or science. The result is 800 000 unemployed university graduates and a very high unemployment rate amongst school leavers. On the other hand, crafts and trades that could have contributed to economic growth are neglected resulting in a shortage of craftsman, tradesman and entrepreneurs and the closing down of many factories and businesses in the country. We should be teaching “entrepreneurship” in schools – not by teachers, but by entrepreneurs. Fish don’t teach birds to fly.

    I have seen this in townships back in the 1980s already, where poor craftsmanship resulted in most of our less fortunate citizens living in inferior housing structures. I wanted to fix this problem. My toolmaking background then gave me a great idea. Instead of having people lay and cement bricks to build a house, which is very difficult if you don’t have the know-how and skill, I decided to develop a plastic mould system and cast structures– which is filled with a sand and cement mortar – to make houses more affordable, reduce the impact of human error and accelerate the building process.

    The moulds can be assembled in different configurations, so you can build anything from a small 40 square metre one roomed house to a double storied four-bedroomed house. Or it can be used to build a school or anything for that matter.

    What does the word Moladi mean?

    The word came to me while I was praying in my garden. Back then, we did not have internet and I had no idea what it meant. I nevertheless felt that it was supposed to be the name of the company.

    Later I discovered that Moladi was the name in a Croatian bible referring to the Palestinian town Moladah and that it meant to “give birth” or “to bring forth. How appropriate, since I see Moladi gives birth to a house every time the formwork is removed. Also fitting in that it helps to “give birth” to other people’s dreams of having their own homes and earning an income in constructing the units.

    How does your business plan work?

    Making money is important, but it has never been the main drive of the business. I believe that when you follow your passion and deliver a quality product, money will usually follow you.

    My idea with the business was to help solve housing problems in South Africa, while generating new employment opportunities and in effect contributing to economic growth. So I supply training in the construction of Moladi houses and licence people who finish the course to build Moladi houses. I prefer working with cooperatives rather than individuals, as it means that people will be checking up on each other. This is especially important when it comes to cash flow. Many new entrepreneurs fail because they tend to splurge on want-to-haves, such as bakkies and new cell phones, instead of the must-haves required to make the business grow. 

    Training is provided for free, but trainees need to pay for the moulds and admixture. Our licensees are supplied with viable business plans to help them secure business loans for their start ups. I have a vested interest in the success of the licensees, since poor outcome will reflect badly on my business. Trainees are selected carefully to try and prevent potential failures and I really develop a close relationship with them to ensure their success.

    How do you minimise risks of your licensees?

    Firstly, there is no incentive to take shortcuts by skimping on building materials, as it is relatively cheap to build these houses and therefore the margins are bigger than conventional construction. It differs from conventional construction, where people steal building material like bricks or blocks off site or simply reduce the cement content in the mortar or plaster mixes when the cash flow runs out.

    Secondly, since river sand is used from the local quarry nearest the building site, the licensees are required to send us a sample of the river sand they will use to us for analysis. Based on the sieve grading results in the laboratory, we will advise them on whether they would have to add more coarse aggregate or more fines. The sand is mixed with cement and an admixture, which we specify based on the analysis, to create the mortar. The admixture creates air bubbles in the mortar, which helps to enhance the flow ability and thermal properties of the wall.

    Cube samples are also taken of the mortar during casts to ensure the mix complies with our standards.

    How does the price of constructing your houses compare with that of the way in which traditional houses are built?

    It is really difficult to say, since there is such a great variation in the quotes and final results in the traditional building industry. A little while ago, I saw quotes ranging from R8,5 million to R34 million for the construction of 640 houses in Paterson. Would 640 cars vary so much from dealership to dealership? All builders and contractors have one common denominator – The building material supplier. Therefore, the only way in which the builders and contractors can compete and make profit is through managing the labour, work flow and the quality of our work. Should they fail in managing this process; the result will be loss of profit. Should rework be required, the loss will be even greater. This business model is based on the ability of the skilled artisan to deliver. Yet, how does one measure the production ability of individuals throughout the week – Monday to Friday (and pay day)?

    The bottom line with Moladi is that the building material used, cost less – River sand being the bulk of the content. Eliminating “waiting time” saves a tremendous amount of money, not only labour cost, but also in holding cost. With Moladi, the first houses can be finished within a week and due to the benefit of the production process brought about, one per day thereafter. There is also less room for error, since there are fewer variables that need to be planned for and considered. 

    Not counting innovation, what would you say is one of the biggest strengths of your company?

    We are a small team, which means that our overhead structure allows us to function profitably in the low cost mass market. Companies with high overheads simply cannot compete in this small margin big volume space. The real market requires vast amount of homes below the R500, 000 range and this is the market that we as Moladi focus on. I did most of the work alone for many years after I started the company. These days my two daughters, Shevaughn and Camalynne are key to the successful running of moladi and they fulfil vital roles. We outsource work in order to keep overheads down and have very good relationships with various suppliers, building experts, engineers, town planners, architects, funding institutions, etc. We pride ourselves that we are equipped to take land to stand to home to key as a “one stop shop”.

    What has been some of your greatest achievements of things that made you most proud?

    We have won numerous awards, including the South African Bureau of Standards Design for Development Award in 1997, the Housing Innovation Award of ABSA bank and the National Home Builders Council in 2006 and the Affordable Housing Competition held by Delta Bank in Accra in 2009 to mention a few.  We were also selected by the Smithsonian institute to showcase Moladi at the United Nations in New York - “Design for the other 90%”.

    However, what really makes me tick is to see how our licensees succeed in their business. What I really enjoyed of the Tanzania project was that we trained a few very devoted people. Over time, however, those people trained other people in the community. As such Moladi has brought hope and helped people to break out of the poverty cycle. And most of those people are women.

    What has been your greatest challenges in getting Moladi off the ground?

    People are hesitant to try out new things, especially when it comes to something as personal and dear as investing in a home. Many people also think that Moladi uses alternative building materials, which we do not. To me Moladi should be categorized as a superior building technology (SBT) and not as an Alternative Building Technology (ABT), because it is a totally new superior way of building – an improvement on what we have been doing over the past thousand years. Instead of casting a brick in a mould, we cast a house in a mould. What has elevated Moladi as a technology was not the lowering of cost to produce, but the social acceptance factor. The client wants to live in a Moladi home, as it looks and feels the same as a traditional built home. Simply put the proverbial knock test.

    The Moladi building system produces houses that are approved and enrolled by NHBRC and certified by the Agremént board of South Africa (CSIR) and banks in South Africa are willing to finance Moladi homes. Longevity and resale ability are two key criteria used by the financial institutions as yardstick. This we have demonstrated and proven with our first home built in 1987 – As good as new. We are very excited working with the World Bank in Tanzania as the success of the project has proven to management that due to the simplicity, combined with quality and speed, the cost effectiveness of Moladi is what is needed in the rest of Africa and this advantage is being promoted by the World Bank.

    How many houses have you built since you have started Moladi?

    We have only built three hundred in South Africa, due to terrible bottlenecks and government bureaucracies. This is bound to change in the nearby future due to rising pressure caused by the shortage of houses and there not being enough skilled artisans companies to help address this shortage. Politically and for the peace of our country, Government can no longer afford to give billions of Rand to unskilled emerging companies who build houses that have to be rebuilt five years later due to bad workmanship and inferior quality of materials.

    Most of our projects have been implemented overseas, in more than 21 countries. We have for example built 800 houses in Mexico and are currently in negotiations for large project in Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Mauritius and Namibia.

    What is your general impression of the international housing industry?

    Food and shelter, according to Maslow’s Hierarchy, are the most basic needs of any living being. Housing has however become extremely expensive, even in countries like the United Kingdom people are struggling to make ends meet with mortgages being extended to thirty and thirty five years in order to reduce cost of monthly repayments. In developing and third world countries, there tends to be a lot of talk about housing for the poor, especially from politicians. In most of these cases governments are unable to meet the rising demand due to a shortage of know-how, skills and funding.

    What are your plans for the short to medium term?

    We are currently in negotiations with the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) to establish Moladi training colleges in all the provinces in the country. South Africa is struggling to reach its target of building 2,3 million houses, due to a lack of skilled artisans and qualifying contractors. We hope that Moladi would help to pull things together by training our people to build houses for themselves – it is an initiative into which large companies can also buy in. The National Development Plan needs a “TOOL” to kick-start the implementation thereof. Moladi is a “TOOL” to solving two major issues facing South Africa – One the very high unemployment rate – Two the huge housing backlog of 2.3 million subsidy homes let alone the GAP market and mud school eradication program. The motto – Jobs for the unemployed – Food for the hungry – Shelter for the homeless – Taxes for Government. My interpretation of “circular economy”.

    What are your long-term plans?

    There are a few goals we have set ourselves – The first being to establish moladi as the “Henry Ford” of mass housing. This we intend achieving by producing as many components and products to help reduce cost of “producing” homes on a production line basis – From production to homeowner, bypassing  the middleman in the supply chain . Second would be to look at how we are able to offer funding in a different format that would assist home ownership.  And thirdly, to look at rental stock as a means to house those that purely want to rent.  This product would be aimed to replace shacks and informal settlements.

    The regulatory requirement enforced on the financial institutions make it very difficult for the ordinary man in the street to qualify for a mortgage and it is this market that needs a different financing option in order to own a home. The automotive industry is a good example of the many different ways of purchasing a car. Maybe the time has come to adapt the homeownership criteria to accommodate the many many that rent purely because they do not fulfil the current stringent lending conditions.

     www.moladi.co.za

  • Beyond brick and mortar houses

    Beyond brick and mortar houses

    The inefficiencies of moulding a brick or block in a mould then tasking an artisan to lay them. Then chase the walls for water and electrical services. Then relying on another artisan to plaster the walls. Dependent on the skills and ability of artisans to produce a house. At what cost?

    Conventional brick and mortar construction process:

    • How many bricks or blocks are laid per day?
    • Are the quantity of bricks or blocks laid per day the same for every day of the week?
    • What happens when the bricklayer does not come to work?
    • Is the dagha (mortar) mix to lay the bricks or blocks consistent?
    • How many bricks or blocks are wasted or broken or stolen?
    • Are walls straight plumb and square?
    • How long to chase for electricity piping?
    • How long to chase for water piping?
    • How long does it take to do beam filling?
    • How long does it take to plaster window reveals?
    • Is plaster thickness consistent or does it vary?
    • Is the plaster mix consistent?
    • Any rework?
    • Rubble to clear?
    • At what cost?

    “If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.” - Peter Drucker

    This leads to the question: Are the inefficiencies of the brick and mortar construction process making homes unaffordable for most?

    The moladi Injection Moulding Construction Process

    Beyond Brick and mortar houses

    Casting a house in a moladi mould employing unskilled workers – Eliminating the dependence on skilled artisans - Eliminating the need to chase, plaster and beam fill. Completed in a day. At a known cost.

    moladi Construction Process

    • Erecting the formwork by unskilled labour is constant.
    • No stays.
    • No propping.
    • No consumables.
    • Formwork holds a constant precise volume.
    • Mortar a known cost.
    • Mortar is a known consistent compressive strength.
    • Reinforcing a known weight/cost.
    • Time to position and bind reinforcing constant.
    • Filling the formwork is consistent.
    • Removing the formwork is constant.
    • Labour is not skilled.

    “If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.” - Peter Drucker

    This is why moladi was selected for the Tanzanian Courthouses Project and funded by the World Bank - Read more at - Future of Construction - World Economic Forum

    To view a video on the sequential step-by-step process - Visit the link to our latest project in Gauteng - South Africa - Gauteng Education Department

    moladi designed to create jobs for the unemployed food for the hungry shelter for the homeless

    What if we told you the solution to the global youth unemployment and the million-plus housing backlog was already in our back yard? And what if we told you jobless, unskilled people could become entrepreneurs in the house building sector and be able to build homes in their communities at a fraction of the cost and in less than a week?

    What would you say if we told you there is a company that is not only prepared to certify you, but to empower you too and give you a market, technology and the opportunity to grow personally and professionally? Build a community in a month

    For more on moladi visit www.moladi.co.za  

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