15 January 2013

Namibia: Low-Cost Housing Brick Plant Opens in Ojomuise

INO Investment company showed off their new mobile I-Brick plant in Otjomuise's 8ste Laan yesterday, where the company has started building its first show house.

The company's director, Fillemon Iyambo, said the business idea that began in 2010 was implemented to help solve the problem of the high cost of housing.

"We want the citizens, especially young people, to be able to buy quality houses at affordable prices."

Iyambo said this is their first project.

"Thanks to the City of Windhoek for giving us land to build our demo house. We plan on expanding to northern areas. We also hope to receive positive responses from other municipalities that have received our proposal," he said.

Iyambo said the I-Brick uses less cement than conventional bricks due to a specially formulated resin mixture.

Virtually no cement is used during the actual building process, he said, adding that it is faster to build than most other building systems.

"The I-Brick manufacturing plants are fully portable, allowing for brick manufacture in remote areas because everything on the machine is hydraulic and there is no need for electricity."

Iyambo said a chute is created when building with the bricks which allows for plumbing and electrical reticulation without the need for cutting into the walls and subsequent plastering.

According to Iyambo, the house walls can be built from foundation to roof height in one day, depending on how experienced the people working with the machine are.

"The building system allows for the use of unskilled labour, empowering the communities with skills and jobs in the areas which houses or structures are being built.

"Most of the builders that are currently employed on the site are from the neighbourhood, we just trained them on how to use the machine, which slows down the working process," Iyambo said.

The show house is expected to be completed within 12 days and its cost will be between N$130 000 and N$150 000.

The I-Brick system is used in South Africa, Swaziland, Malawi, Kenya and Mozambique and it is said to be a success in these countries.

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