In addition to providing sustainable building materials and solutions, Holcim Philippines is ramping up direct engagements with shelter organizations to better understand the challenges in building affordable homes and inform future initiatives for a bigger impact.
This year, the firm has partnered with Habitat for Humanity Philippines to build 500 houses in Valenzuela City and Negros Occidental.
It is also working with the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) to put up 900 shelters in the City of Marawi for families affected by the conflict there.
“These engagements have opened our eyes on the opportunities to make a difference and convey to stakeholders in the affordable housing community our commitment to help,” Holcim Philippines President and CEO Horia Adrian.
He added that, “As we learn more, we look to develop new solutions or introduce ones developed by experts from the Holcim Group.” Among the most promising ones is a 3D concrete printing technology which the Holcim Group developed and used in Africa in June to build a school’s walls in just 18 hours instead of days with conventional materials and practices.
Also in Africa, the Holcim Group industrialized and scaled up the production of soil-stabilized and weather resistant bricks called Durabric with factories that can be either fixed or mobile.
The focus on affordable housing is part of the Holcim Group’s 2030 people strategy to continue creating shared value and uplifting the wellbeing of communities worldwide.
The strategy focuses on three pillars: bridging the world’s housing and infrastructure gap, improving livelihoods and upholding the highest standards of human rights.
Holcim’s commitment builds on its legacy of positive social impact, having benefited over 31 million people with more than CHF 200m in social investment over the last five years.
Holcim Philippines is further responding to the building industry’s need to up-skill the labor force particularly masons to help them adapt to advances in building materials and technologies.
Through its flagship corporate social responsibility program Galing Mason, the company has helped train and accredited as skilled workers over 5,000 masons nationwide.
Aside from making them better skilled in using new materials for building better quality and affordable houses, Galing Mason also expands livelihood opportunities for graduates and improves their ability to afford their own homes.
With its edge in innovation, growing understanding of building affordable houses through institutional partnerships, and programs to help advance the skills and knowhow of local builders, Holcim Philippines is optimistic that it can make a positive difference.
“The government released in May the National Housing and Urban Development Sector Plan (NHUDSP), a 20-year multi-sectoral road map that puts together the inputs from important stakeholders in the housing industry for a unified approach towards fulfilling the mission of providing every Filipino the decent home they deserve,” said Adrian.
He noted that, “Those align with our objectives in Holcim Philippines to help build a more inclusive progress in the country. We look forward to working with partners in making this ambition a reality.”