FNB has teamed up with Integricon Construction to launch an alternative building technology plant in Kathu, Northern Cape.
This may bump up the alternative building technology momentum in South Africa which is yet to take off earnestly despite claims that it could play a critical role in addressing the country’s housing backlog.
The plant, which currently employs 10 people in Kathu, will manufacture panels made out of cement foam and gypsum which can be used to construct a basic house in just five days.
“Alternative Building technologies are an opportunity to assist in servicing the high demand for housing in South Africa. We see this initiative as an opportunity for us to begin providing good quality homes to communities in the affordable housing market at prices they can afford. This also forms part of our target to finance 100 000 houses by mid 2013, which is why partnering with Integricon on this project made strategic sense from a business perspective,” says Marius Marais CEO of FNB Housing Finance.
A temporary show house which Integricon has built on its premises has been erected to illustrate the quality and workmanship of the houses.
Stephanie Kasselman, Commercial Director at Integricon said “We are very excited to be able to offer an alternative to the increasing building costs of traditional brick and mortar houses. In recent years the cost of housing has increased sharply, and many families find themselves unable to afford a house. Our offering makes it possible for families to own a home. Our homes are architect designed and we offer 100% financing to assist the home – owners in their application process.”
“Besides other factors, we have also chosen to endorse the use of this technology because of its cost saving potential. The panels are easy to transport from built in electrical and plumbing systems and do not pose a logistical challenge as they render an 80% weight saving to conventional building methods. The raw materials used during production ensure a low carbon footprint and the panels are SABS tested and Agrément certified. We have also found that because of the speed factor in building, more housing projects can be completed in a shorter space of time,” said Marius.