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The multi-award winning moladi construction system was founded in South Africa in 1986 as a method
of building cast in place reinforced monolithic structures. The moladi technology was developed as a
means to alleviate many of the cumbersome and costly aspects associated with conventional construction
methods without compromising on the quality or integrity of the structure.
The moladi system constitutes the use of a removable, reusable, recyclable and lightweight plastic
formwork mould, which is filled with a South African Bureau of Standards approved and Agrément
Certified aerated mortar to form the wall structure of a house in as little as one day. Each set of moladi
formwork panels can be re-used 50 times making the technology cost effective due to its repetitive
application scheme, reducing the cost of construction and transportation significantly. The moladi
system produces durable and permanent structures, which have been subject to numerous tests and
The process involves a number of smaller components which are assembled into larger, lightweight
panels that are configured into a mould which forms a house of any desired size and design. The engineer
specified steel reinforcing bars, window and door block-outs, conduits, service pipes and other fittings are
positioned within the 150mm or 100mm wall cavity, which is then filled with a specially formulated and
project specific lightweight mortar consisting of the local river sand, cement, water, and a harmless
cement admixture to form all the walls of the house simultaneously. The moladi plastic formwork
panels are then removed the following morning and immediately re-erected onto an adjoining site. The
result is a wall with a smooth off-shutter finish that does not require any plastering, beam filling or
chasing and generates no waste. The walls are then painted, the roof erected and windows and doors are
installed to complete the house.
The moladi construction process should be viewed as a workflow process similar to that of a vehicle
assembly line. Through the simplification, standardization, modularization, and industrialization of the
construction process, efficiency and cost savings are achieved and maintained by managing the
continuous flow process on site.
The moladi construction method provides structures which are permanent, durable, waterproof, and possess excellent thermal and
sound insulation properties. The moladi walls possess an average compressive strength of 15MPa or 15N/mm², which is far stronger
than the average standard for cement blocks which vary from 3.6 N/mm² and 7N/mm² or common clay building bricks, which have a
compressive strength of 5.2N/mm².
moladi’s principle methodology is aimed at eliminating all of the typical problems one encounters with construction projects, such as
time constraints, shortage of skilled labour and materials as well as waste. It is the simplicity, performance, functionality and
practicality of the moladi technology which contributes to the affordability of moladi homes which are roughly 30% less than
similar structures built using the traditional brick and mortar method.
With its streamlined and simplistic approach to construction, the application of the moladi technology is not dependant on skilled
labour or artisans for construction and utilises local unskilled labourers to build moladi homes, enabling community involvement in
the construction of their own homes. It brings to the field of construction the benefits of producing quality assured work by unskilled
labourers at a maximum rate of production. Over 90% of the construction team on a moladi housing site consists of unskilled
labourers. Also, women who have traditionally been either reluctant or discouraged from working within the male-dominated sector are
encouraged to participate in the non-labour intensive moladi building process. The moladi construction method has been designed
with the objective to allow for an unskilled team of people to follow moladi’s optimized, repetitive and sequential process that
eliminates the probability of any errors occurring that are crucial to the outcome of the structural quality or integrity of a moladi
housing unit. The opportunity to create ‘sweat equity’ is a key advantage in the use of the moladi construction system. Most
traditional and alternative construction methods require certain skills and trained artisans who would be essential to contributing
towards the structural integrity of a building and in many cases within South Africa, skilled artisans are not available or skilled workers
are wrongfully replaced with a cheaper, unskilled workforce, resulting in shoddy and unfit structures.
moladi is also unique in that it can be easily transported to virtually any part of the world, including remote and rural areas and
informal settlements and the construction of a moladi structure does not require heavy machinery, or even electricity. The building
materials required for the moladi methodology are materials which are readily available, easily accessible and sourced locally. By
utilizing indigenous materials the benefits of the technology are spread to local communities.