MAA’VA aspires to help create shelters for the homeless with its 3D printable eco-concrete
Settling in the United States after two years of crossing his homeland woke up the Iranian architect Marieh Mehran to the bitter truth that homelessness knows no borders and extends far beyond the developing world.
She vividly remembers being surprised to witness scenes of homelessness on the streets of Los Angeles – where she was studying architecture and town planning at UCLA – and questioning the definition of civilization and the role of technology in promoting social equality.
“It’s not what I expected to see in one of the richest cities in the world. It was then that I realized that homelessness is indeed a global problem, ”Marieh told The Sociable, adding that the experience had inspired her to find a solution that could change lives. for the best.
Driven by a sense of responsibility as an architect to help people who cannot afford to build, buy or rent a house, she began to lay the foundations for her aptly named construction technology company. –MAA’VA.
“My father is a poet and I grew up reading and writing a lot of poetry. Maa’va, which means “a safe place to thrive” in Persian, is frequently used in Persian poetry and has always been one of my favorite words. When I wanted to choose a name for my business, I suddenly remembered it and chose it without any hesitation because it really sums up the essence of our mission and vision.
And that’s for sure.
His company is developing a sustainable, carbon-negative building material using plastic and non-plastic waste.
Their eco-concrete can be used for both conventional construction and 3D printing, allowing green and economical housing to be built in one day for a tenth of the typical construction cost and half the waste.
In poetic terms, “MAA’VA rekindles the empathy hidden in architecture and science to serve humanity and our mother earth”, contributing to solutions to the climate change crisis, to the waste crisis, to global river sand shortage, water scarcity and rapid urbanization.
“There is empathy in architecture. There is empathy in science. But we don’t use it. We use architecture and science to create luxury buildings, go to Mars and create technologies that mainly privileged people can use, while we can use this hidden empathy to serve human beings of all kinds, ”said the founder and CEO of MAA’VA. .
When asked what makes their material unique, Marieh noted that a distinguishing feature is that they use non-recyclable plastic waste as a replacement for sand.
“In addition, we plan to use more waste in our material, and it will be local waste. In addition, we make it both carbon negative printable, high strength, low cost and 3D printable. “
Drawing on her education at the prestigious University of Tehran and UCLA as well as her experience working on projects related to companies such as Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Tesla and BMW in collaboration with UCLA, Marieh applied and was accepted into the highly competitive program of Founding Institute, the world’s largest pre-seed startup accelerator.
It was there that she decided to focus primarily on hardware rather than mass production of affordable green housing, which was the original idea.
“After talking to many scientists, we realized that materials can have a huge impact on the environment, especially since concrete is the most widely used synthetic material in the world and cement, the key ingredient concrete, is the source of around 8% of global CO2 emissions, ”explained Marieh.
At later stages, she says, her company would like to collaborate with 3D printing and construction companies or even build their own 3D printers to help build green and affordable homes for a larger segment of the population.
“But at the moment, we’re only looking to develop our material,” the Los Angeles-based social entrepreneur and environmentalist said, adding that their eco-concrete should be on the market within six months to a year, according to of their progress in R&D.
MAA’VA targets not only the American market but also the international market with the aim of “healing the planet”.
“We want to make changes in all parts of the world, and that’s why we use local waste as ingredients. Our material can be developed in any environment, ”commented Marieh.
MAA’VA participated in the XPRIZE Carbon Removal Competition, which is funded by Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation and aims to combat climate change and rebalance the Earth’s carbon cycle. The $ 100 million contest is the “biggest incentive prize in history», Which makes it an extraordinary step.
Marieh’s Twitter Profile features a beautifully emotional poem by the ancient Persian poet Saadi, which reads:
Human beings are part of a whole,
in the creation of an essence and a soul.
If a limb is in pain,
the other worried members will stay.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
the name of the human you cannot remember.
And she says the message of humanity embedded in these verses is at the heart of MAA’VA and motivates them every day to try to make the world a better place for everyone, one brick at a time.
MAA’VA plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign in the near future to fuel its next stage of growth with the help of people who care not only about the planet but also the people who inhabit it.
Disclaimer: This article mentions a client of an Espacio holding company.