Presentation - HiLoTec

Development of a Sustainable Self-Construction System for
Developing Countries
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May the knowledge of this project be of benefit
for the welfare of those who build
a HiLoTec house


The future of the construction industry will require changes at many levels. One is the ability of companies to adapt to new challenges, converting needs to opportunities and simultaneously contributing to the solving of social and environmental problems. In the coming decades we will see a change in attitude in the industry, with a strong tendency to adopt natural and recycled materials, as well as bet on green technology and social innovation oriented to emerging countries.

On the other hand, emerging countries have a high demand for housing construction on a large scale, but the current techniques in the developed countries for building requires a large amount of natural resources and skilled labor. This contextualization brings sustainability problems for the construction sector in emerging countries, often with scarce natural resources and with the construction sector underdeveloped.

Through a cooperative action between the construction company Mota-Engil Engineering and the University of Minho in Portugal, we developed a construction technology based on the use of Compressed Earth Blocks as part of a social concept for innovative small houses, favoring the adoption of local and natural materials and with the main premise of being dedicated to self-construction.

The HiLoTec project - Development of a Sustainable Self-Construction System for Developing Countries was based on this idea.

To Mota-Engil, the project was a platform for incubation of knowledge about earth construction and to obtain a constructive solution validated technically and scientifically, suitable to be implemented in the markets where it operates.

For the University of Minho, the project was an opportunity to strengthen skills in research, laboratory and scientific development, through the development of engineering studies, architecture and sustainability, as well as supporting the doctoral scholarships and dissemination of scientific publications.

Associated Institutions

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