Holcim Foundation


Durabric: How-tech for cutting-edge structure

Stabilized earth bricks are a reliable, affordable and environmental-friendly building material. Compared to burnt clay bricks they do not require the intensive use of firewood or other fuel to achieve their performance. LafargeHolcim developed Durabric, a naturally cured building block made of compressed earth and cement, and launched it commercially in Cameroon, Indonesia, Malawi and Tanzania. As the technology is easily transferable, the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction encouraged the use of Durabric to build the Droneport prototype at the Architecture Biennale in Venice as a symbol for future projects in Rwanda and other emerging countries.

Meeting new requirements

The Research Center of LafargeHolcim in Lyon developed customized bricks to meet the specific requirements of the Droneport vault. The challenge was to ensure a compressive strength of at least 10 MPa while minimizing the weight and size of each brick. The mix design was optimized in close cooperation with the Block Research Group at ETH Zurich and MecoConcept Toulouse. 18,000 Durabrics were made available for the Droneport construction in Venice. The heavy exposure to rain of the outer layer inspired LafargeHolcim to adapt the receipt of the waterproofing agent that is applied on the Droneport. 

Last Updated: May 23, 2016
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Venice, Italy
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