Partanna Bahamas and the Government of the Bahamas ink deal to develop “world’s first carbon-negative affordable housing development”

The development project will provide at least 1,000 direct and indirect jobs for Bahamians over its duration

A partnership between material specialist Partanna Bahamas and the Government of the Bahamas will see the development of what’s billed as the world’s first carbon-negative housing development. The partnership was announced by the Honourable Philip Davis, KC, Prime Minister of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, at COP27.

According to a statement, the development of 1,000 affordable, sustainable dwellings is comprised of single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, and multi-family homes constructed from a building material called ‘Partanna’. The material is said to be made of carbon-absorbing brine technology. Partanna is said to be the world’s first building material that avoids carbon emissions, absorbs carbon from the atmosphere and generates tradable carbon credits.

The new venture will help to ease the housing shortages that the Bahamas is currently facing, as the country continues to rebuild after the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian, in 2019. Partanna Bahamas is on track to deliver the first 30 units in 2023, the statement explained.

In October 2022, the DMCC launched sustainability projects to decarbonise the JLT District in Dubai.

Honourable Philip Davis, KC, Prime Minister of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas

“Innovation and new technology will play a crucial role in avoiding the worst climate scenarios. I am pleased that Partanna, a Bahamian-led company, is poised to make an important contribution,” stated Davis.

Rick Fox, Founder of Partanna Bahamas added, “Extreme weather events in our region are only getting worse, leaving a trail of destruction behind them. This year, Hurricane Ian took too many homes and lives. What will 2023 and 2024 bring, if we don’t start to address the climate crisis in earnest? Technology can turn the tide, and at Partanna we have developed a solution that can change how the world builds.”

According to the statement, Partanna’s carbon-absorbing brine technology was co-developed in the US by entrepreneur and three-time NBA champion Rick Fox, and his business partner, architect Sam Marshall. As a Bahamian citizen, Fox is said to have realised the potential impact it could deliver for countries on the frontline of climate change, and founded Partanna Bahamas with the intention of building affordable, hurricane-resilient homes throughout the region.

In October 2022, the UNEP cautioned that the lack of progress leaves the world hurtling towards a temperature rise far above the Paris Agreement goal of well below 2C, and preferably 1.5C.

Rick Fox, Founder of Partanna Bahamas

Cement production accounts for 9% of all global carbon emissions. Partanna is an alternative building material that not only avoids significant carbon emissions in the manufacturing process, but also sucks CO2 from the atmosphere – in much the same way that a tree does. This makes Partanna materials carbon-negative over their lifecycle, the statement explained.

Partanna Bahamas noted that each 1,250sqft Partanna home will contribute a negligible amount of CO2 during its manufacturing process – compared to a standard cement home of the same size, which typically emits 70.2t. Every 1,250sqft Partanna home will remove 22.5t of CO2 after production, making it fully carbon negative within the product’s lifecycle, the firm said.

The material is said to be made from natural and recycled ingredients including steel slag and waste brine from the desalination industry, enabling desalination plants to harvest more fresh water per liter processed without discarding brine back into the ocean. It requires no resins or plastics in its manufacturing and contains no Portland cement. The firm said that Partanna cures quicker and is stronger in the face of the elements.

In November 2022, JLL issued a whitepaper outlining ways to decarbonise Egypt’s built environment.

Homes made with Partanna are hurricane- and corrosion-resistant, making them ideal for residents of climate-vulnerable areas like the Bahamas and other small island developing states (SIDS). This attribute means homes built of Partanna in the Bahamas can be insured, providing even further potential to reshape the Bahamian economy, the statement outlined.

Partanna’s building material has now been listed by non-profit Verra, the world’s largest carbon credits certifier, for its verified ability to remove carbon from the atmosphere and generate tradable carbon credits. The revenues generated from the credits will fund various social impact initiatives – including down payment contributions for low-income families, making home ownership more accessible, the firm explained.

Fox added, “Partanna is extremely excited to partner with the Government of the Bahamas to provide safe, affordable housing to thousands of Bahamians.”

The parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in October, and manufacturing efforts are already underway. The development project will provide at least 1,000 direct and indirect jobs for Bahamians over its duration. Partanna will also provide training in the new skillsets required to establish the Bahamas as the global center of a new sustainable building materials industry, the statement concluded.

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