Colombian company Woodpecker is using coffee husks to manufacture lightweight prefabricated buildings for home and schooling use.

Colombia is one of the world’s largest producers of coffee, but also one of the most economically impacted countries in that part of the world.

House insecurity is a recurring issue throughout the country and one that construction company Woodpecker is looking to solve.

According to EcoWatch, Woodpecker uses coffee husks to manufacture lightweight prefabricated buildings for home and schooling use.

This startup from Bogota, Colombia, combines coffee husk with recycled plastic to create a more durable building material that is also environmentally-conscious.

This not only reduces waste from coffee farms that would inevitably end up in the landfills but helps to execute a swift, simple construction that anyone can do. The DIY structure of the Woodpecker buildings was integral to their mission of providing low-income housing for Colombia's impoverished areas.

Alejandro Franco, CEO of Woodpecker, says that coffee husk was selected because it’s stronger and drier than other fibers.

The special wood plastic material is self-extinguishing, pest-resistant, and designed to withstand moisture.

Panels have standardized plastic parts that clip together on a steel frame so they can be installed without special knowledge.

These tiny homes cost only $4,500, so the Colombian government used Woodpecker housing to provide emergency shelter for displaced citizens after Hurricane Iota in November 2020. 

Nikola uses his background in electrical engineering to break down complex sustainability topics for GreenCitizen's readers. He is a firm believer in environmental conservation, which he practices daily through recycling and home-grown food. He enjoys hiking, engaging in white-water sports, and collecting pocket knives.

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