Holcim and Norman Foster Foundation have announced plans to roll out a scalable prototype of the Essential Homes Applications in Central America by 2025.  

The prototype will be showcased at this year’s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, which will be held in London, UK, from 18 June to 18 August.

The Essential Homes Research Project, initially presented at the 2023 Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy, aims to create permanent and habitable structures for refugees and displaced populations.  

The rollout in Central America will follow a comprehensive study of local housing conditions and environmental factors. 

The design of the Essential Homes project, which incorporates Holcim’s sustainable building solutions, is said to focus on safety, comfort, and well-being. 

The buildings will be constructed using low-carbon, locally sourced materials such as ECOPact concrete and ECOPlanet cement.  

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Additionally, custom high-performance concrete will be used for the prefabricated roofs. 

Essential Homes Applications are intended to be fully recyclable. 

Norman Foster Foundation president Norman Foster said: “This project grew out of a workshop organised by the Norman Foster Foundation for young graduates devoted to the issues of refugee housing.  

“Realising that a family can spend up to nearly two decades living in a tent, the scholars posed a challenge – could a more durable, permanent and dignified home be built in a few days, that would be economically viable and sustainable? The Foundations project team, with the support of Holcim, met this challenge with a prototype home unveiled at the 2023 Venice Biennale.” 

Last month, Holcim initiated the construction of its ‘GO4ZERO’ net-zero cement plant in Obourg, Belgium.