Chilomoni, Blantyre

The Beetech building was constructed at the Beehive Main campus, in order to house two of Beehive’s social enterprises; ‘Beetech’ and ‘CoG’. The Beetech enterprise offers a data entry service to assist larger, established companies in digitising historical records and accounts. Many of Beetech’s employees are former students of Beehive’s JPII IT Institute.

“Malawi’s economic growth has not been inclusive partly because it is driven by an underdeveloped agricultural sector, and it does not create enough decent jobs for the rapidly growing number of people joining the labour market.” (‘Malawi Economic Policy Brief’, AFIDEP, 2016)

Building Design
“Our building facility truly reflects who we are and what we stand for regarding the service we provide - great design and high quality workmanship. Every little detail has been thought of and executed.”
(May E. Bikoko, Beetech Manager)
Beehive Main Campus, Chilomoni, Blantyre, Malawi
Office and Workshops
Year of Construction
2017 – 2018
Design Architect
Donn Ponnighaus
Project Architects
Donn Ponnighaus and Keith Banda
Design Engineer
Zedi Nyirenda
Geotechnical Engineer
Zedi Nyirenda
Project Engineer
Hendrix Mgawana
Total Building Area (Approx. GEA)
Number of Storeys
Construction Cost
256,859,000 MWK
(£260,834 GBP – rate correct as of 25th August 2020)
Cost per m²
381,663 MWK/m²
(£388 GBP/m²)

In order to accommodate a potentially wide range of different enterprises, the Beetech building is formed of a series of six open-plan workshops, set over 3 storeys. Originally envisaged as two-storey, an additional storey was added to the building half way through construction due to the rapid growth of the Beehive enterprises it would house. The building utilises a reinforced concrete frame, in order to achieve wide spans and therefore column-free, flexible workshop spaces. The building is clad externally with Beehive’s site-made Hydraform block system.

Entry to the building is through a double-height lobby, creating an open, light and airy welcome. The void extends through the stairwell to the top of the building, where a large chimney tops the roof, creating natural ventilation throughout. Lighting in the workshops is created through large, regularly spaced windows which encircle the rooms on three sides – electrical lighting is therefore rarely required during the day. Trunking at desk height is present in all workshops, in order to allow for a range of machines and IT equipment.

Social Impact
A sense of oneness and togetherness is fostered in the Beetech family
Catholic Community Support
people are currently employed at Beetech
Job Creation
All Beetech staff undergo security and confidentiality training
Quality Education
There are Work/Learn placements for students who can’t afford college
Supporting the Vulnerable
“It is the desire of every student to get a professional qualification and have experience of real work on the ground. This usually favors students with funds, but for those without it takes a miracle such as this (the Work and Learn placements Beetech offers.)”
(Inncocent Kakangula. Work and Learn Student.)
Beetech provides vital education, employment and internship opportunities for local residents, students and graduates. It currently employs 37 people, the majority of whom are JPII graduates. Beetech offers a Work and Learn program in partnership with Beehive’s JPII IT Institute, which gives young men and women from Chilomoni, who are college-ready but do not have the means to fund their tertiary education, an opportunity to attend JPII and enroll in ICT courses, at the same time as working at Beetech. These students are not only afforded the opportunity to attend college, but have hands-on work experience at the completion of their studies. Beetech further supports the most vulnerable in society, by contributing to the community outreach work at the Mother Teresa Outreach Centre through its surplus profits. Continual learning is encouraged at Beetech and all staff receive security and confidentiality training, to ensure they handle the clients sensitive documents correctly. The Beetech family is encouraged to find meaning in their work and compassion towards one another to create a supportive environment to work in.
Meet The Team

My name is Jenipher John. I joined Beehive in 2017, as a casual construction worker. My main duties in the Hydraform Team are carrying the blocks, after they have been made, from one place to the other. I also help in the kitchen preparing lunch for the team. My  favourite thing about working is getting to know people and their culture.

Jenipher John

Casual construction worker

My name is Tobias Chiphata. I joined Beehive in 2015, as Stores Clerk. In this process I was taught how Hydraform works and then later I was promoted to the role of Supervisor. My main duties are making sure the team follows the proper channels for making the best Hydraform blocks. My favourite thing about my job is working with the team.

Tobias Chiphata

Stores Clerk

My name is Vekias Modeni. I joined Beehive on the 1st January 2020, as a casual construction worker. In the process I have been training as a Safety Officer and later I was promoted to Hydraform Supervisor. My main duties are helping the team in producing blocks that are good quality and making sure no one gets hurt in the process. My favourite part of my job is seeing my friends going back home without injuries.

Vekias Modeni

Casual construction worker

The project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals