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Sustainable timber construction builds momentum in Africa


April 2024 Sustainable timber construction builds momentum in Africa 3 from Sawmilling South Africa
Relocatable boardroom WHK Namibia BOXA Possibilities

South Africa-based Sustainabuild Group closes R60-million seed round to revolutionise sustainable construction in Africa

The round was funded by Criterion Africa Partners (CAP) and the Vumela Fund, established by FNB Business and Edge Growth in the Sustainabuild Group.

The Sustainabuild Group consists of Boxa Possibilities, Mass Timber Technologies and Sustainabuild Installation Projects. Collectively, Sustainabuild offers a range of complementary, next-generation green building solutions. At the heart of the group is its engineered timber products, such as cross-laminated timber, which leverage proprietary design and manufacturing processes to produce high-performance and low-impact mass timber building solutions. These products offer architects, developers and contractors versatile and environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional construction materials such as reinforced concrete, masonry and steel.

April 2024 Sustainable timber construction builds momentum in Africa 1 from Sawmilling South Africa
Staff quarters Homestead mines Sustainabuild Projects

Funds will be used to accelerate the development, adoption and commercialisation of mass timber in Africa, having already completed projects in Tanzania, Rwanda and Namibia, as well as across South Africa. It will also enable the expansion of the group’s prefabricated, modular building range, for use in education, primary healthcare, commercial and hospitality projects.

Construction incorporating mass timber is an excellent alternative to traditional building materials and provides a locally sourced solution to Africa’s pressing shortage of building space. By utilising sustainably sourced timber, the Sustainabuild Group seeks to address the pressing environmental challenges facing the construction industry, including carbon emissions and resource depletion.

“We are thrilled to announce the successful completion of our seed funding round,” says Anthony Lewis, founder and CEO of Sustainabuild. “This investment validates the potential of our technology and supports our mission to enable sustainable building practices in Africa.”

Ole Sand, CAP’s Managing Partner, states, ”CAP sees the development of cross-laminated timber as an important element of taking advantage of lumber’s inherent qualities to provide climate positive impact in the construction sector. We are excited to be part of supporting this business,and bring our sector knowledge to continue its growth and expansion into the future.”

Marcus van der Hoven, MD of the group’s mass timber division, adds, “This funding represents an opportunity for us to prove the impact that engineered timber can have on the built environment.“

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