Sustainable Homes for Underprivileged Families

DuPont News, March 5, 2012
DuPont leaders pose with 2011 Sustainable Growth Excellence recipients
DuPont leaders pose with 2011 Sustainable Growth Excellence recipients (left to right): Linda Fisher, Eduardo Wanick, José Antonio Chouza, Patricia Esperanza, Enrique Requejo, Sara Reynoso, Juan Carlos Ruiz and Jim Borel.

 

A DuPont Titanium Technologies (DTT) and Packaging & Industrial Polymers (P&IP) team recently was awarded a DuPont Sustainable Growth Excellence Award for leading business model transformation that improved quality while also delivering value for customers and DuPont.

The team, honored at the 2011 DuPont Excellence Awards, included José Antonio Chouza (DTT), Patricia Esperanza (DTT), Enrique Requejo (DTT), Sara Reynoso (P&IP) and Juan Carlos Ruiz (P&IP).

With the need for housing for underprivileged families in Mexico, DuPont and its customer Repshel looked for a sustainable solution to provide healthier, safer living spaces since about 15% of the population lives in spaces made with wasted wooden or cardboard walls. These conditions cause digestive and respiratory diseases that affect children and the elderly.

To address the problem, the DuPont team developed “Polymer Housing,” a solution that allows the construction of affordable houses using a “Do It Yourself” concept that also fulfills the requirements of the Mexican government. This system replaces brick walls with polymer panels reinforced with Elvaloy® and titanium dioxide, mounted on a concrete floor and metal structures.

A challenge was to develop a polymer formula with the required characteristics for breakage and opacity due to sun exposure and weather inclemency, while also complying with a minimum lifetime of 30 years. The system was validated by the Mexican government through third-party certifications.

The first demonstration occurred at the community of Betania and was constructed within three days and immediately occupied by a family. The perception of the community changed – the house was cleaner, safer, allowed more sunlight and had lower maintenance costs.

A total of 5,072 units have been built and occupied, supporting low income families in various Mexican states.

Projects are now in progress in Chile, Argentina and Panama, and interest in the project has been received from Brazil, Peru and Angola.