Block Solutions Oy

Block Solutions Oy

Creating a better tomorrow with sustainable and affordable way of building houses

Block Solutions

Block solutions Oy is a Finland-based company who has developed environmentally friendly Block-modules made of recycled plastics or in combination with local excess raw materials. They are used for building sustainable, affordable and safe homes for people all around the world, thus fostering local well-being. The company focuses also on creating jobs and enforcing gender equality with their business model. For this reason, Block Solutions has been chosen as the ISC3 Start-up of the Month for July 2023.

Year of Foundation:


Addresses the following SDGs:

SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), and SGD 12 (sustainable consumption and production)


a group of perople watches a guide explaining a machine
Injection molding machine in the new factory in Lombok
a group of people standing indoors in front of a house prototype
An Indonesian Block home
two persons sitting at a presentation
Block Solutions' founders: Sanna and Markus Silfverberg

From crisis management solution to innovation disrupting the construction industry

Block Solution's product was initially developed for the United Nations (UN) as a crisis management solution for building shelters, hospitals, mortuaries and so on. It should be sustainable and easily to build in case of a natural disaster, or any kind of crisis. The specifications for the desired solution included also that the building modules for example for a 100m² hospital should weigh less than 2000kg, can be transported via helicopter and constructed without any special tools on site. That was in 2016, when Block Solutions began designing their product and before officially launching the company and product in 2018. "In the beginning, we started just my wife Sanna Silfverberg and me, and later we brought in two additional families. Now we're all together about maybe 20 people focusing on the technology. Globally said, you could talk about hundreds of people working with Block Solutions," Markus Silfverberg (founder of Block Solutions) explained. Markus` background is civil engineering and Sannas in economics and human resources. So that was a perfect match for a company. In addition, Sanna is the CEO of the company. As Markus stated, gender equality is a really important for Block Solutions. One of the company´s core values include that at least half of the workers are female.

After starting with UN, they realized that their product is not just for the crisis management, but is suitable for many other applications, like building houses, schools, etc. Now, the start-up began to build partitioning walls for high rise buildings, because the weight of their “building blocks” is about only 10% compared to conventional ways of building partitioning walls. And they are getting a lot of traction all over the world.

Sustainable building blocks

What makes the Block Solutions‘ innovation unique? The carbon footprint of the product is close to zero: dependent on the location of the the material used, it can be an ecological biocomposite, which can contain up to 50% of organic fibers and 50% recycled plastics or, alternatively, only recycled plastics. This is based on the availability of excess raw materials on the local level. Block Solutions is investigating what different kinds and amounts of excess fibres are available in a specific market and adapts their “recipe” for their composite material. Accordingly, the Finnish start-up uses coconut husk, rice husk, bamboo or sugarcane in their blocks. In addition, the start-up also focuses on engaging the local community to create a suitable solution. The modularly built houses are affordable, durable and can be set up quickly with just a few tools. They can also be dismantled and rebuilt.

Block Solutions is considering the whole lifecycle of the houses they built. If it's built according to their specification, it will last over 100 years. They focus on material properties enabling recycling as well as reuse, and durability at the same time. The start-up has also considered energy consumption that is necessary for recycling which was one of the reasons why they also focus on reuse.

“I was looking at some figures that still between 90 to 95% of the plastic waste is going to landfills or into rivers or into nature. Plastic is a very good product - if it's discarded properly, recycled properly. But we should never think of plastics as a single use product. It is a good but mismanaged product. In areas where there are currently insufficient recycling possibilities, teaching people how and why to recycle would already have a positive impact. We need to incentivize people and governments play here an important role as well."

Block Solutions is working together with recycling companies, start-ups and scale-ups in this field that focus on environmental impact. Especially in Asia, where many different kinds of materials are available. Block Solutions’ products are locally produced through a sustainable licensing business concept. They offer a full concept, trainings, technical and commercial support and the opportunity for a profitable, sustainable and environmentally friendly business. Part of Block Solutions’ service is training of the workers: first, they train the people to build with their technology and then the workers operating the factory. Eventually, their technical team gives a training for the trainers, so that they can start training the locals, as is currently done in Indonesia.

In every single country, they build a model house or model structure first. In that way, the people can get an experience and judge by themselves. If they are interested to buy the product or start a business via licencing, Block Solutions starts the local manufacturing. "It's really important that we can make a local product for the local people, because it's not worthwhile for us to go into a new market without getting acceptance by the public. For us it is also about creating jobs," Markus stated. One factory will contribute to about 300 jobs in waste picking and sorting, production, and building the houses. Up to now, Block Solutions operates in several countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia and North America.

Next up at Block Solutions

Block Solutions now aims to set up regional hubs, as they want to reduce their own carbon footprint related to frequent business trips by plane and also to give more business opportunities to locals. Block Solutions are 20% shareholders in these hubs, but the local partners will run the business by themselves. They have one hub coming in Singapore for Asia, one in Riyadh for the MENA region, one in Kigali for Africa, and one in Denver for North America.

With their innovative approach, Block Solutions, who joined the ISC3 Global Start-up Service in 2019, actively contributes to SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), and SGD 12 (sustainable consumption and production).