Formwork solution provider Moladi not only offers a fast and effective housing solution to African and South African mines but also uses mining slag as construction material sustainably.
The solution entails a reusable, patented, recyclable, lightweight plastic injection moulded formwork system. The formwork consists of fully interlocking components with easy-to-handle panels that are configured into a full-scale mould of the desired structure.
“Moladi is proud to have designed a building system that is especially suited to the mining sector,” comments Moladi CEO and inventor Hennie Botes.
He explains that the disposal of slag is often a concern at mines, but that it can now be repurposed into building materials: “A mine would be able to use its ‘waste’ material to sustainably build its own infrastructure.”
He adds that the company is able to work with major mining operations throughout Africa to build infrastructure for large-scale staff housing requirements at a reduced cost.
Further, he stresses that the Moladi formwork solution is not limited to affordable housing projects and can also be used for the construction of offices, schools, clinics, and commercial and warehouse buildings, as well as high-security storage bunkers.
Moladi is a unique housing technology that incorporates green technology to provide the “best” solution to address the six key challenges that hinder the successful implementation of low-cost and affordable housing projects in South Africa – the lack of sufficient funds, the shortage of skilled labourers, the lack of resources, workflow control, time constraints and wastage.
Botes points out that the deployment of the Moladi construction system to the African market is relatively easy as the materials can be transported to virtually any part of the world, including remote rural areas and informal settlements.
An added advantage is that there are no restrictions in terms of using heavy construction equipment and machinery. Even the absence of electricity would not hinder the building process, as only hand-held tools, such as battery-powered drills, are needed.
Moladi focuses on creating job opportunities and facilitates the speedy delivery of hurricane- and earthquake-resistant buildings, reducing construction costs without compromising on quality.
In explaining how a Moladi structure is cast, Botes notes that, after soil conditions have been checked, a suitable foundation is laid, based on the required engineering specifications.
After a curing period of three to seven days, the Moladi formwork mould is erected on the foundation and filled with the aggregate of choice. The walls cure overnight and the formwork is removed the following morning.
“The whole process takes about under 24 hours for a 40 m2 unit – about four hours to erect, two hours to fill with aggregate and a brief overnight period before the formwork is removed.”
A contributing factor to the company’s success is the ease with which the formwork can be assembled, allowing for unskilled, “unemployable” people to assist in building the structures.
“More than 90% of the construction team consists of unskilled labourers, who are trained by a Moladi foreman over two to three weeks to transfer the requisite skills and knowledge to complete the entire construction process,” suggests Botes.
The company prides itself on erecting one house a day using only one set of formwork. “Imagine the scale we could achieve when using multiple sets of formwork simultaneously on a project or mine,” Botes concludes.