Country: RwandaFocus: ArchitecturePartner: MASS DesignPost-Extreme Lab: Social E LabStatus: StartupYear: 2013



Partner: MASS Design

EarthEnable‘s mission is to provide healthy and affordable floors to the 80% of Rwandans who can only afford to have a dirt floor in their home. Concrete has been shown to reduce diarrhea by 49% and parasitic infections by 78% (Gertler et al., 2009), but a concrete floor costs $300-500 for a small Rwandan home. Meanwhile, EarthEnable’s earthen floors cost only $30 dollars for the same area. They are composed of natural materials (gravel, clay, sand, and fiber) and are sealed with a layer of drying oil that makes the floor impermeable, easy to clean, and polished. These are prevalent in the US, but linseed oil – the typical drying oil used – is very expensive. EarthEnable’s innovation is a proprietary technology that converts locally available oils into a drying oil that performs as well as linseed oil at 15% of the cost, thus enabling Rwandans to affordably have healthier homes.