TwistBlocks

Sustainable, affordable and fast construction with TwistBlocks!

We sell TwistBlocks in our local factories

TwistBlocks

Lower construction costs – faster construction completion: Certified by Kenya Bureau of Standards

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Fewer building materials and shorter construction time means lower construction costs.

FIRE SAFETY

Cement blocks are naturally fire resistant and offer extra protection in densely populated areas that are prone to fires.

FLEXIBLE FLOOR PLANS

The wall segments can be folded steplessly to maximise the available space, particularly important for irregular site conditions such as those in informal settlements.

IMPROVING LIVELIHOODS

Twistblocks are manufactured in Kibera informal settlement, Nairobi by local people. Opening a manufactory in your neighbourhood can improve the livelihoods of people in your community too.

MORTAR FREE WALLS

The interlocking block design means no mortar is necessary to bind the courses, making Twistblocks up to 10 times faster to build with than conventional bricks.

DECONSTRUCTABLE & REUSABLE

Walls are easily dismantled and up to 80% of the blocks can be recovered for reuse.

Building

Economics

The Start Somewhere TwistBlocks offer many advantages compared to standard masonry construction without being more expensive. Due to the clean finish there is no need for plastering.

Advantages

Why you should use TwistBlocks

TwistBlocks

1950
per m² finished wall

Positions:

Labour

Title

10%

Steel

Title

19%

SSW Twistblocks

Title

71%

Standard Plastered Masonry

2600
per m² finished wall

Positions:

Labour

Title

22%

Mortar

Title

12%

Formwork

Title

5%

Steel / Concrete

Title

13%

Plaster

Title

23%

Stones

Title

25%

REUSABILITY

of the TwistBlocks and therefore total ownership.

CLEAN FINISH

no need for plastering.

BUILDING SPEED

up to 10 times faster than standard masonry.

A combination of functionality and design.

Curved walls allow a maximum use of plot with multi-storey capability combined with asthetic and clean walls.

Flexibility – build, dismantle, reuse – everywhere

Changing circumstances can be easily addressed by the flexibilty of TwistBlocks. Dismantling, reusing and expanding are  key features to fulfill a wide range of specific needs.

Outstanding design – modern elegance in every environment

The building technique offers the possibility of building round walls, so the building can meet almost every requirement.

Functionality – tangible benefits at lower costs

The TwistBlocks high-tech functionality includes fire safety, isolation and temperature management at lower costs than regular houses.

Our expertise

Includes construction especially in informal housing environments and slums

Houses

Sanitary facilities

Landscape design

Schools

The construction method has proven to work.

Start Somewhere’s pilot project – the construction of a school building for 400 children inside Kibera Slum, Nairobi – was realized in 2020 during COVID-19 crisis within the given framework both technically and financially. It was planned and coordianted remotely from Germany and built by residents of Kibera under guidance of Start Somewhere’s local project manager Lazarus Asewe.

FAQ

You have more questions? Then write us a message!

HOW CAN I SUPPORT START SOMEWHERE?

Head over to https://www.startsomewhere.eu/donate/ to support two schools in the Kibera Slum in Nairobi with a donation.

HOW CAN I SUPPORT START SOMEWHERE?

Head over to https://www.startsomewhere.eu/donate/ to support two schools in the Kibera Slum in Nairobi with a donation.

HOW CAN I SUPPORT START SOMEWHERE?

Head over to https://www.startsomewhere.eu/donate/ to support two schools in the Kibera Slum in Nairobi with a donation.

ARE THERE PROJECT EXAMPLES/COOPERATIONS OF START SOMEWHERE?

We already have built a number of structures with our blocks for several NGO’s based in Nairobi. Among them are KDI (https://www.kounkuey.org/), a renown design office doing many social and public projects in Kibera and the Global One Foundatgion (https://www.globalonefoundation.org/).

HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE TWISTBLOCKS CONSTRUCTION METHOD?

To find out more about our building method, there are 3 videos on our website at https://www.startsomewhere.eu/en/new-construction-system/

WHAT IS THE PRICE PER BLOCK/ PER M² FINISHED WALL?

The price per m² finished wall including columns, ring beam, etc. is about 1950 KES (price per block 125 KES) which is cheaper than 1 m² standard plastered masonry wall (2600 KES per m² finished wall). We save costs in the construction of the wall due to the high construction speed, as our walls do not require mortar or formwork. If necessary, 80% of the blocks can be dismantled and reused.

HOW DO TWISTBLOCKS SAVE COST IN BUILDING (COMPARED TO MACHINE CUT STONES)?

  • No mortar needed because of the interlocking system (Loads of mortar).
  • No formwork for for columns and ring beam (Formwork for columns and ring beam).
  • Unskilled labour (skilled labour).
  • One day construction time for full height (4 days for full height).
  • Clean finish, no need for plaster (Rough finish, need for plaster).
  • Electrical fixtures and sanitation easy to install inside hollow walls ( Cutting of slots and plastering for electrical fixtures and sanitation).

WHAT ARE THE UNIQUE FEATURES OF TWISTBLOCKS?

  • Round walls can be done easily.
  • 90% of the blocks can be reused and dismantled.

CAN THIS TECHNOLOGY BE UPSCALED TO HELP OTHER LOW-INCOME FOLKS IN KENYA - WHICH ACTUALLY INCLUDE MOST OF THE POPULATION AS WELL AS THE WORKING CLASS?

It certainly is our goal to upscale this project and that the technology benefits as many people as possible. Right now, we are still in the early phase. The moulds have not yet been mass produced, so currently we only have the moulds in our workshop in Kibera. We are currently looking for funds to make this mass production of molds possible. For that we need to build an injection mould which is very costly. But hopes are good that within 6 months to 1 year the moulds will be available on the market and can be sold.

IS THIS TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE IN OTHER COUNTRIES OF AFRICA?

We certainly want to bring this technology to other countries one day. But at the moment it is still very new. The first time we can see it in the world now is in Kenya. So by now we only have very few moulds to produce these blocks.

I WANT TO OPEN A WORKSHOP/SELL BLOCKS IN A CERTAIN COUNTRY. IS THAT POSSIBLE?

We are still in the middle of convincing a big partner from industry, PERI formwork and scaffolding, to start mass production of moulds. You can help if you find people who actually want to realize projects with our technology and they send a request to us. It will make it obvious that people want to build with our technology and are ready to buy these blocks. Then PERI will produce more moulds for us and we can bring them to other countries.

CAN YOU PUBLISH THE CONTENTS OR MIX-QUANTITIES NECESSARY FOR MAKING THE BLOCKS?

The mixing ratio has to be defined based on the quality of aggregates. But generally speaking it consists of class 42.5 cement, river sand, fine aggregates, coarse aggregates and water. In order to produce the blocks a vibrating table is needed and an electric or diesel powered concrete mixer is helpful.

IS THIS TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE IN OTHER COUNTRIES OF AFRICA?

We certainly want to bring this technology to other countries one day. But at the moment it is still very new. The first time we can see it in the world now is in Kenya. So by now we only have very few moulds to produce these blocks.

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