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New building technology targets 1,000 homes yearly

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PHOTO: larry757

Determined to reduce Nigeria’s housing deficit, a new building technology for large-scale production and cost effective development of affordable housing has been introduced to the built sector.

Known as wafflecrete technology, it uses precast with durable reinforced concrete. To construct building, four grade beam panels, three floor panels, four exterior wall panels, one interior wall panel, three-roof panel, two columns, and 24 eave trim panels are needed.

Waffle Crete mold could be made in any size or shape for a particular building design, it requires preparing the waffle Crete Mold, installing the Rebar, tying the rebar and preparing the hole formers. Also, the process involves installing the window block-outs and sealing the door as well as laying the wire mesh to reinforce the panel. The technology also requires preparing the building site for erection of the building.

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Driven by Wafflecrete equipment, it can produce hundreds of buildings per year and could be used for any floor plans, including multi-story buildings. Through the innovation, five workers can cast all panels for semi-detached three-bed room in six days and some of the erection could be done during the six days of panel casting. The result is solid structure, which uses up to 60per cent less material that could be built by unskilled workers and completed at the speed of light.

Speaking on the initiative, the promoters, NISH Affordable Housing Limited of Nigeria and Global Technologies Building Systems Inc, explained that depending on the number of molds deployed the equipment can produce 1, 000 houses in a year per site.

An official of the firm who spoke to The Guardian, Mr. Yemi Adelakun said, “Between seven to eight days should be enough to complete one building. The equipment can be used for all kinds of structures including building of ten stories.
The total concrete estimated for walls on one duplex is 23 cu. meters and the rebars total 1782 KG”.

According to the United Nations, more than 1.6billion people in developing countries around the world live in unsafe and overcrowded housing making them more vulnerable to earthquake and other natural disasters. High cost of construction has also triggered what is known as the global housing crisis but the technology provides platform to reverse the trend.

The technology if fully deployed is expected to deliver homes for Nigerians at target prices of, 4million, 6million and 8million for one bedroom, two bedrooms and three bedrooms respectively.

Each waffle Crete mold could be used for an average of five hundred times before they need to be rebuild or replaced and unskilled workers could be trained to perform all the de-molding task in just few hours.
Laying the floor panel, erecting the walls, installing the columns, laying the roof panels, installing eave trim panels are the major processes involved in the technology.

According to a structural engineer, Mr. Stephen Andrews, the Waffle Crete panels retain the design strength of traditional precast panel yet are 60per cent lighter than standard panels of the same thickness

The innovation is faster, more sustainable and affordable with 35years of proof in more than 30 countries.

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