For Immediate Release
In a show of true craftsmanship and innovation, atlanta-based construction firm, Freedom builders, and their sponsored team, Interhouse, took the first place prize for overall most sustainable and climate appropriate home in Africa’s first International building challenge. The solar decathlon Africa has been sponsored by the King of Morocco following the country’s endeavors in building the world’s largest thermal solar plant and playing host to the United Nation’s climate change conference, COP22, following the Paris climate deal.
The US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Africa brought teams from around the globe to compete on how to best build sustainable and climate friendly homes for Africa’s future development.The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition, comprising 10 contests, that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy.
The winner is the team that best blends design architectural and engineering excellence with innovation, market potential, building efficiency, and smart energy production. Since the first competition in 2002, the Solar Decathlon has expanded internationally to include competitions in Europe, China, Latin America and Caribbean, the Middle East, and Africa. 2019 marked the first time that this competition was held on the continent of Africa.The win comes as a major boost of acclimation for the building process that is unique to the atlanta-based firm, Freedom Builders.
The construction of the building utilized a new form of material called CSEB or Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks. Freedom builders is the largest manufacturer of this material in the eastern United States. Using 95% raw materials that are found in the state of Georgia, this innovative and sustainable building block has been manufactured by the company since 2016.
“Although we did not invent the CSEB, our company is unique in the fact that we traveled to over 10 different countries to consolidate knowledge on the material and bring the best practices for its production and use in construction projects to the Eastern United States.” Said Muhyideen Johnston, General Manager of Freedom Builders.
“Our blocks are especially friendly to the environment because of the minimal amount of energy used in their production and given their composition we are able to use materials found at our construction sites in order to produce the main building block for the homes we build”
Freedom Builders worked closely with the inter-house team on every aspect of design and construction of the winning home. The team was comprised of students from the University of Mines in Colorado and students from the Cadi Ayyad University in Morocco.
For over 18 months Freedom Builders dedicated staff to consulting the team on proper use of the material and construction best practices. In addition, two members of the Freedom Builders team joined the construction team on the ground in Morocco and provided real time consulting and hands on labor throughout the construction process.”I think that it is nothing less than historical that we are manufacturing brick to build houses in the US and in the continent of Africa.
The win in Morocco is acknowledgement of the value of our knowledge and our products. It is something that I hope will transfer back to Atlanta as we use George’s raw materials to build beautiful homes for people in our own state.” Muhyideen Johnston added.Freedom Builders currently is developing and designing over 700 homes to be built in the opportunity zone of Hancock county Georgia on a 205 acre master designed community. The company plans to use the same materials that won in Morocco to build sustainable and climate friendly homes in Georgia.
About Freedom Builders
Freedom Builders is a 100% minority owned building firm based in Atlanta Georgia. Freedom Builders is the largest producer of compressed stabilized Earth blocks or cseb in the eastern United States. They are also the only minority company in the country that designs their own homes and manufactures the building material used to build the homes. More information about Freedom Builders can be found at http://www.freedomnation.me/builders
Photo credit: Freedom Builders
Photo Description: Freedom Builders General Manager, Muhyideen Johnston and CSEB specialist Hassan Qaseem work to build a home for the Solar Decathlon Africa