The "TwistBlock Moulds" formwork system co-developed by PERI has won the German Innovation Award 2021 in the "Building & Elements" category. The German Design Council, which this year already honored the 3D construction printing project in Beckum with a German Innovation Award, recognized "TwistBlock Moulds" as an innovation that advances the industry through its originality, implementation and effectiveness.
TwistBlock Moulds is the result of a collaboration between PERI and the non-profit start-up "Start Somewhere", founded by architect Oliver von Malm in 2017, which aims to sustainably improve living conditions in slums all over the world.
"We have been working on the idea of developing a product for the simplest construction methods at PERI since 2017," said Frank Ilg, Head of Future Products & Technologies at PERI. "We actively looked for partners and came across Start Somewhere and Oliver von Malm, who at that time was looking for a technology partner to implement such an approach. That's how the successful collaboration came about."
The result of "Start Somewhere" is a flexible, reusable, cost-effective and fire-safe building system based on hollow concrete blocks, designed specifically for slums. Using the TwistBlock Moulds formwork system, these hollow concrete blocks can be made by hand using the simplest of means, resulting in a modular, mortarless plug-in system that can be erected and dismantled by hand. In order to maximize the use of the mostly uneven slum floor areas, a stepless buckling of the wall segments is possible.
In addition to the technical advantages mentioned above, building with this system brings a significant socio-economic advantage: With the formwork system, the hollow concrete blocks can be produced by the slum dwellers themselves in small local manufactories. This creates jobs and a construction industry directly on site. The added value thus remains entirely with the people who live in the slum.
"Our system creates jobs and thus income locally. In this way, we create a perspective out of poverty for the workers in the concrete block factories and their families, giving them the chance to work out a low-cost and homely home for themselves," says Oliver von Malm, founder and managing director of Start Somewhere.
A first successfully completed project with TwistBlock Moulds was implemented in cooperation between the project manager Dr. Jürgen Mayer from PERI and the Start Somewhere team in the Kibera slum in Nairobi (Kenya).
Here, according to the plans of Oliver von Malm, the new "Oloo's Children Centre" was built from over 7,200 blocks, which were manufactured locally on site with TwistBlock Moulds in an in-house hollow concrete block factory. It is the first building in the world to be built entirely with this system. The school offers space for 400 children, who are now being taught here.
With a turnover of € 1,503 million in 2020, PERI is internationally one of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of formwork and scaffolding systems. With around 9,400 employees, more than 60 subsidiaries and well over 160 warehouse locations, the family-owned company headquartered in Weissenhorn (Germany) serves its customers with innovative system equipment and comprehensive services for all aspects of formwork and scaffolding technology.
Start Somewhere is a non-profit GmbH from Munich with ten years of experience in development cooperation in one of the largest slums in Africa: Kibera, Nairobi (Kenya). Through a flexible, reusable, cost-effective and fire-safe construction system, Start Somewhere aims to sustainably improve living conditions in the slums of this world.