The Hilti Foundation
Global Presenting Sponsor
The Hilti Foundation believes that a safe home is the basis for the positive development of every human being and has therefore set itself the goal to provide sustainable support for those in need to improve their housing situation. The main basis for this is the development of innovative and sustainable products and technologies that help make houses safer and more affordable.
The construction of homes for families in need started as a project in 2012 when Hilti engineers in the Philippines tested innovative construction technologies for all supporting elements of a building. To do so, they used bamboo, a construction material that is both sustainable and locally available. Bamboo not only withstands natural disasters; it is also less expensive than conventional construction materials. Just two years later, the Base Bahay Foundation was founded to further develop and apply the technology. By 2018, nearly 800 houses had been built using bamboo and handed over to disadvantaged families. At the same time, a value chain began to emerge in the country, which ranged from bamboo harvesting and transportation through to processing which, in turn, created valuable jobs in vital rural regions. Back in 2019, the Base Bahay Foundation established its own research center on the former site of the Hilti Training Center South East Asia, which is where new technologies are in constant development and construction workers and developers are trained in the application of this material.
The research center accommodates a training center for up to 50 people, a laboratory equipped with a universally applicable testing unit, as well as a freed-up construction space where a complete model home can be built for test and research purposes. In addition to this, the research center collaborates with leading universities and research centers around the world and publishes scientific specialist publications on a regular basis.
Cooperation with the housing charity Habitat for Humanity International, which started in 2019, represents a major milestone for the Foundation. In the coming years, together with partners from public and private sectors, the project aims to construct 10,000 houses in the Philippine province Negros Occidental to demonstrate that the technology can also be applied on an industrial scale. The transfer of this technology to other Asian countries has already started: in Nepal, bamboo houses are being built for the first time outside the Philippines in cooperation with the government and the private sector.