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We are very excited to tell you about our world’s first 100% degradable TwistBlock building. After weeks of hard work and dedication, our team in Kibera is proud to announce that the factory is now operational. Up to 160 TwistBlocks per day are already being produced. In this blog post, we would like to give you an insight into the innovations that this project brings and tell you about the positive impact the construction has had on the community. 

Sustainable foundation: We developed an innovative foundation system consisting of individual TwistBlocks filled with gravel, which is 100% deconstructable in a simple way. The expertise of the renowned Munich-based engineering office Dittrich, was very helpful for this task. The material saving foundation construction method makes this project possible, as the surrounding area is a flood plain and this fact brings special challenges. The development of this degradable foundation construction method represents a huge milestone and will continue to lead the way for future construction projects.

Recycled paving stones for the floor: To make the entire floor of the factory also degradable, we collaborated with the local startup Gjenge Makers. They produce paving stones from recycled waste plastic collected by locals in Kibera. These stones are laid on a gravel bed without gluing and can bear surprising loads. Working with Gjenge Makers not only enables us to integrate sustainable materials into our construction processes, it also supports the local economy and creates new jobs.

Innovative construction: The windows and doors of the factory are screwed to special blocks installed in the wall and can be effortlessly dismantled from the inside. In addition, we have redesigned the ring beam and roof beams to speed up construction and reduce the amount of material used. The beams are connected with conventional wood screws and can be rebuilt in variable lengths at another place of use because of their overlapping structure.

Positive impact on the community: During the construction of the factory, numerous jobs were created for residents of Kibera, who were simultaneously trained in the innovative construction method. This opens up the possibility for them to participate in future construction projects with the TwistBlocks from our factory. We are proud that we have not only created five permanent jobs in production, but also contributed to the temporary employment of numerous other local people.

Prospect: The speed with which the walls of the factory were erected has also impressed the operator of the neighboring building. He has expressed interest in working with us and would now like to receive an offer for a new school building. This is another example of the positive effects of our sustainable and effective construction method.

We are very grateful to the entire Start Somewhere team and to all the workers involved in the construction and manufacturing of each element for their great support and for making this amazing project possible.

Together we set a sign for sustainable building and contribute to a better and greener future. Be curious about further interesting developments and innovations of future projects!