WINDHOEK – With the critical shortage of housing in Namibia more and more alternative construction methods are coming to the fore, many of which could be used in the National Mass Housing Development Programme that will see 185 000 houses built by 2030. One of these alternative construction methods is being promoted by a Chinese-Namibian company called Afrina, which is a joint venture with a Chinese company called Sinotech Modular Housing. Afrina say they are using the most advanced technology in the world that enables the completed construction of a two-bedroom house within seven days. According to Professor Gangfu Yang of Afrina, the state-of-the-art technology also reduces the price of a modern home by up to 30 percent. Afrina recently completed a two-bedroom demonstration house at the Habitat Research Centre in Windhoek using the technology that has already been used in 15 other African countries. The technology is also in use in countries like Russia, Canada, the United States of America and in the Middle East. "We would like to see Namibia becoming the 16th African country to make use of this technology", said Professor Yang. He is adamant that the technology results in houses that are stronger and safer than conventional houses. He explained to New Era that advanced exterior thermal insulation meets the most updated energy saving standards for buildings. Professor Yang also says the structure is completely fireproof, and provides ample moisture insulation and ventilation, which are ideal for Namibia's climactic conditions. "Most of the materials can be sourced locally and we are already in the process of training locals on the correct use of this technology," said Professor Yang. "Once labourers construct three houses using this system they will master the use of the technology. We already used local labourers to construct this demonstration house," he noted. However, in order to participate in building 185 000 affordable houses by the year 2030, which will be implemented in phases at a projected cost of a massive N$45 billion, alternative building methods such as this will first need to receive approval by the local authorities, such as municipalities. "We feel that the criteria used by the municipalities is hampering the development of Namibia and this should be changed as a matter of urgency," remarked Professor Yang.
2014-03-14 10:28:47 4 years ago