In 2018, Buildink walked away as a winner in the TechCrunch Startup Battlefield. The unique technology that the Lebanese startup devised was new to the region, set to revolutionize the way homes are built.
The co-founders of Buildink, envisioned a new approach to building housing projects, both at a low cost and in an efficient manner. The team devised Robot Concrete 3D Printers solutions, which enables the delivery of single-story homes, in one week. The proprietary signature concrete mix actually reduces construction time up to 75%.
BDD’s team sat with Buildink’s founders and engineers to delve into the company’s vision and mission, and the noteworthy technology, expected to transform the construction industry, in a region where nearly 1.6 million people live in inadequate housing structures.
BDD: Tell us a bit about your motivation to set up Buildink? And what makes it unique?
Buildink: At Buildink, our objective is to solve social and economic problems by using fewer raw materials and reducing waste in the construction industry, to contribute to a more sustainable and cleaner planet.
We also automated the element of heavy labor to cover the increasing shortage of workers in the construction domain, and at the same time worked to reduce on-site labor accidents and enhance the harsh conditions that laborers are subject to globally.
BDD: Who is on the team?
Buildink: The team is diverse, with professionals hailing from different background. From civil engineering and material experts, to hardware, robotics, electronic and computer engineering professionals – our shared skillset spans over 20 years in different domains.
BDD: Have you implemented any projects yet?
Buildink: In the first quarter of 2017, with a limited budget, we developed and sold a 1-meter cube concrete 3D printer, with its proprietary concrete mixture to a Civil and Material Engineering Department, at one of Lebanon’s top universities. This gave us the required experience in the domain. Then in early 2018, after acquiring the support and seed funding from Flat6Labs in Beirut, our team channeled their capabilities in research, to develop the world’s first concrete 3D printer.
BDD: What is the market potential for such products?
Buildink: We would like to reference the research conducted by the Dubai Future Foundation, which states that “3D-printed houses started in 2019 at 2% with a gradual increase to the strategic goal to reach 25% of the new buildings in the UAE by 2030, this business will be a 300-billion-dollar market at that stage.” The research further delves into the needs in the GCC market, and especially the growing need for mass housing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Ministry of Housing in Saudi Arabia, as part of Vision 2030, are aiming to acquire cutting edge concrete 3D printing technologies to build nearly 2 million concrete 3D printed houses.
BDD: Why does the MENA region need such a product?
Buildink: The increasing population in the MENA region, in addition to the problems in developing markets, are leading citizens to live in inadequately equipped shelters. We have vast geographical locations which are deserts, that brings with it many challenges. It is also worth noting that we hope to contribute positively to countries that have been damaged by the wars in the region, and provide housing to the millions of refugees that are living in terrible conditions and are unable to rebuild their houses in their home countries.
BDD: Do you have insights on the destruction caused by the war, and how Buildink can help?
Buildink: It is estimated that at least 1.6 billion people around the world live in "inadequate shelters". This is mainly due to the destruction of houses due to wars or natural disasters, in addition to the complexity and the high cost of construction.
Buildink provides an efficient and affordable solution for temporary and permanent construction projects.
BDD: Will you go beyond the one level house capacity in the near future?
Buildink: In the coming 2 years, our main focus is to provide multi-level houses, and in parallel our concrete and robotics R&D team will make sure to provide feasible solutions that will allow our technology to go beyond this limit.
Our main focus is to provide mobile and scalable technology in 3D Printing… and if we want to go beyond the limits, Mars will be our target market in the next 50 years.
For more information, visit www.buildink.com