Developers advised to use modular systems, local materials

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Maureen

Ihua-Maduenyi

As opposed to the conventional building construction methods that gives room to wastage and mediocrity, builders should start moving to modular systems with a little bit of mechanisation to improve efficiency in building construction, the promoter of the Oak Grove, Mr. Emmanuel Owo, has said.

Owo, who stated this during a one-day interactive session with stakeholders on the challenges of providing affordable housing in the country, noted that there was a need for professionals in the building construction industry to adopt the “build more with less” approach to projects without compromising on quality and aesthetics.

He said local content must be vigorously pursued with the use of readily available building materials.

“This implies that we must begin to look at ways in which we use resources that we have in abundance, which are the materials that form the core of building materials and processes, as this will likely translate to cheaper buildings at the end of the day, and also generate local employment. Questions like embracing solar energy must be asked and considered critically,” he added.

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According to him, bamboo, which is a readily available type of wood, can be used in the building process from start to finish, because of its versatile range of uses.

“This is an unexplored alternative to hardwood, imported boards and in some cases steel. It is a cheaper alternative and it is also locally sourced,” he said.

Owo who is also an architect, stated that the current dearth of semi-skilled labour and the level of supervision imparts largely on the final output and cost of a building, and urged professionals to pay more attention to the quality of work as well as invest in training of workmen.

He also urged the relevant authorities to revisit regulatory standards as some were not entirely relevant and dynamic with the times anymore.

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“Building authorities will likely not approve some designs and propositions that will enhance affordability due to existing codes and policies. These codes and requirements need to be reviewed in line with changing realities and the demands of urban renewal and regeneration,” he added.

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