Problem: Gaza produces 6 tons of ashes every week which goes to landfills and as an unusable byproduct, it causes direct pollution to the ground water as it permeates quickly through soil particles-an environmental catastrophe. At the same time, importation of cement for construction comes at an unsustainable cost for the Palestinian economy.
Solution: GreenCake is the world's only brick that uses coal and wood ash as filler material instead of sand and aggregate. It is It is stronger than an ordinary brick, yet half the weight and price.
Goals and objectives: The solution aims to make Gaza less dependent on construction imports and help Gaza’s stalled reconstruction.
Implementation: Majd Mashhrawi, a civil Engineering graduate, and her business partner Rawan Abdulatif conjured up the idea of GreenCake in 2015 to respond to the challenge of waste and a need for an alternative to cement bricks.
GreenCake hires young people to collect ashes from sources and reuses them to create blocks at a cost of 25% against a standard concrete bricks. A truck full of sand can cost around $200; the same amount of ash costs $25. The ashes are crushed, sieved, and then reused to make building blocks.
GreenCake participated in a start-up incubator called Mobaderoon III project, which trained the team on entrepreneurship, where the they established the prototype for GreenCake. They then participated in an MIT competition for Arab start-up projects, and it was selected as one of 70 (out of thousands of applications) semi-finalists. In 2016, Mashhrawi won first prize in Japan-Gaza Innovation Challenge.
The first construction using GreenCake took place in September 2016. The blocks were produced in a factory GreenCake rented for a week. Subsequently the success of GreenCake as a sustainable replacement continues to earn accolades, thanks to media interest in this venture, including a video that earned millions of views.
Achievements: So far, 100,000 GreenCake building blocks have been used to restore houses and factories.
Gaza City, State of Palestine
Phone: +972 59-940-1773