revolution in building materials

Revolution in building materials

revolution in building materials

revolution in building materials

When there is a revolution in building materials, there will be a revolution in architecture again. Until that moment, we ought to be happy being the enablers of other intellectual and technological revolutions. - Reinier de Graaf Link

Disruptive Innovation:

A disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology.


plastic formwork

Plastic formwork - revolution in building materials

Modern building methods using modern building materials: Link

moladi Construction System aims to address the 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 a patented lightweight, removable and re-usable plastic injection moulded formwork system that is filled with fast setting aerated mortar to cast entire houses on-site. The process is deliberately designed to be labour intensive to boost local employment and local production without requiring prior construction experience or skills. The moladi construction process mostly uses local supplies apart from the reusable formwork and a special additive to aerate  the mortar (concrete without stone) to reduce the density, thereby enhancing the thermal properties of the structure. The other function of the additive is to water proof the wall and enhance the flow ability of the mortar within the formwork eliminating the need to vibrate.


Through creative engineering and sophisticated manufacturing, moladi aims to advance living standards and spaces affordably. moladi is an advanced building technology that utilises an innovative re-usable plastic formwork system to reduce the required skills to produce quality affordable homes and other structures that are socially acceptable by speeding up delivery and thus reducing cost. By emulating the methodology of the automotive assembly line, moladi implements the principles applied by Henry Ford; reducing cost by increasing production output by de-skilling the production operation, making homes affordable.

The advantage that moladi brings to the “production process” is that the process can measured and maintained, ensuring consistent speed and quality within budget.

Conventional brick and mortar construction:
  • 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?

This leads to the question: Are the inefficiencies of the brick and mortar construction process making homes unaffordable for most?
“If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.” - Peter Drucker

By applying moladi the above variables are excluded from the equation.

moladi Construction Process:
  • Erecting the formwork 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.
The modelM in the construction and assembly line process of affordable housing for the base of the pyramid  - The builder of the future

Click on the links below for additional information:
  • Double Storey Classrooms for Western Cape Education Department - Link
  • Responsible Business Forum – UNDP – Sustainable Development Goals – Reduce Inequalities
  • World Economic Forum – Future of Construction – World Bank: moladi operating in 24 countries Case Study
  • Reduce cost of Affordable Housing #BOP market – Link
  • How to get the unemployed working and the homeless sheltered – JOBS FOOD through SHELTER - Link
  • Finweek – The Builder of the Future - Link
  • Classrooms for the learners - Link
  • moladi model home in Trinidad - Link
  • Hennie Botes - TV Interview - Vision and Purpose - Link
  • Brick and Mortar vs. Injection Moulded Construction System - Link 
  • Youth Employment and skills Development Program Link
  • #moladi Affordable Housing presentation - Link
For more information - Visit - Future of Construction 

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