Vision


Safe and affordable housing is a reality for everyone in Bangladesh. Construction is environmentally sustainable and provides good working conditions to millions of people.

Mission


Develop a scalable solution to transform fired clay brick kilns into state of the art block factories and establish construction methods for safe and affordable housing on a national level.

Approach

Building Pioneers promotes non-fired brick solutions to make safe, affordable and eco-friendly housing a reality in Bangladesh.

Block Production

The only widely available solid building materials in Bangladesh are fired clay bricks and concrete. Both are unaffordable for lower income groups who are forced to build with corrugated iron, adobe (sun-dried soil) or even plastic sheet. Non-solid building materials are less durable and require frequent repair and maintenance, which creates a financial burden for lower income families and negatively affects their resilience.

Building Pioneers promotes a building block which has better properties than conventional bricks and reduces construction cost by 25%. This makes solid housing affordable for millions of people.

House Construction

Bangladesh is home to 160 million people and ranks as one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It is prone to cyclones, floods and earthquakes. Most houses in Bangladesh, especially in rural areas, are non-engineered and poorly constructed. They fail to provide sufficient protection against natural hazards for millions of people.

Building Pioneers develops easy-to-adopt construction methods for solid housing in rural areas to increase disaster resilience and reduce construction costs. Masonry training is a key component to ensure their widespread application.

Kiln Transformation

Bangladesh counts more than 6000 fired clay brick kilns with a yearly output of 15 billion bricks. The kiln technology is outdated and energy inefficient. It consumes 3.5 million tonnes of coal and 2 million tonnes of firewood every year. This causes 10 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, air pollution, severe deforestation and top soil depletion, which threatens the food security of Bangladesh. 1 million people in the brick industry endure harsh working conditions.

Building Pioneers aims to transform fired clay brick kilns into modern block factories. Together with key stakeholders, we create a transformation package for brick kilns that can be rolled out on a national level.

Building blocks

Building blocks (or non-fired bricks) are used worldwide as a standard alternative to conventional fired clay bricks. However, in Bangladesh they make up less than 0.1% of the total brick market. Building Pioneers believes that the potential for system change in Bangladesh’s brick industry is huge and can benefit millions of people and the environment.

Strong & durable

Building blocks outperform corrugated iron sheet, adobe and bamboo in terms of strength and durability. Blocks have better properties than Bangladesh’s manually produced bricks and their hollow shape allows horizontal and vertical reinforcement for earthquake resistance.

Affordable

Building blocks reduce construction cost by 25% per sqm compared to brick walls in Bangladesh. The cost advantage consist of a lower block price, faster construction and less amount of mortar and plaster.

Eco-friendly

Blocks are produced without firing. This reduces CO2 emissions by 50% per sqm wall compared to fired clay bricks, causes less air pollution and deforestation for firewood.

Blocks are based on sand, not clay, which helps to preserve agricultural farmland and increase food security.

A proven technology.

Team

Ava Mulla

Ava Mulla

Co-Founder and CEO

Ava studied Industrial Engineering and Management in Germany. During an internship at the Yunus Center in Dhaka, she realized the tremendous potential for non-fired bricks in Bangladesh and decided to found Building Pioneers.

Odin Mühlenbein

Odin Mühlenbein

Co-Founder

Odin worked as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company and co-founded two companies before. He works as a consultant for Ashoka and represents Building Pioneers in Europe.

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Want to work with us?

Creating a market for an alternative building material in all of Bangladesh requires collaboration between partners from different sectors, including local and international businesses, research institutions, the government from the local to the national level, development agencies, academia, the media, and others.
Get in touch if you want to contribute!

Awards

Google Impact Challenge Germany 2016

Winner

National social venture competition. 100 projects won 10.000 each.

enorm

Winner

National social venture competition

Risk Award

Finalist

International competition hosted by UNISDR, GRF Davos and Munich Re Foundation

Social Impact Start

Stipend

Social start-up scholarship