Housing workshop aims to address material cost of building

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Edgar Brandt

Windhoek-The founder and owner of Kavango Block Bricks, Heinrich Schroeder, says he is ironing out the final arrangements for a workshop to address the housing shortage in the country. Schroeder is organising the workshop, which is scheduled to take place in Windhoek in August this year, in conjunction with Dr Jeffrey Mahachi, a renowned housing engineer based in South Africa.

The workshop aims to examine the delivery of innovative socially accepted homes throughout the 14 regions of the country with a focus on reducing the cost of mobile manufacturing plants to produce the materials required for the construction of homes. A second workshop is also in the pipeline for northern Namibia later in the year.

The main objective of the workshop is to attract SMEs and manufacturers throughout the 14 regions to address how to reduce the costs associated with logistics and distribution of building material. The deliverables expected from this key objective are to make the country an industrialised nation and for the same reason the agenda will include cost efficiency, increased quality and speed of site assembly.

According to Schroeder, the workshop will also examine conventional construction methods versus rational design construction in order to increase the speed of the building process and reduce the overall housing cost.

“This workshop will investigate the collaboration and encourage the sharing of information between all stakeholders and will promote Namibia as an industrialised building community nation, which applies knowledge based on practices and methods from advances pioneered by our counterparts,” said Schroeder.

“As an initial step towards information sharing within industrialised building communities, it is critical to include all rational building designs which make use of wood, steel, masonry and other types of building materials in their design. Therefore this workshop should raise key topics to get key speakers to address these issues. Designers of all types of new technologies and building systems are also encouraged to attend the workshop,” said Dr Mahachi.

Schroeder emphasized that the objective of holding a mini housing conference in Windhoek is to raise awareness, specifically among professionals and housing delivery stakeholders, on the availability of innovative building technologies.

“Awareness needs to be created regarding the availability of advanced building technologies, which includes modular designs and systems that can be assembled much quicker than conventional building technologies. Many of these technologies are capable of being manufactured using local Namibian resources. For many conventional building methods the time has expired. In addition the conference aims to empower delegates towards correct building standards and the use of modern building practices. We need to encourage and promote the sharing of information and learn from acknowledged rational design pioneers from the construction sector,” Schroeder concluded.

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