Yinka Kolawole
Efforts to facilitate the construction of mass housing by the Nigerian government has received a boost, with the unveiling of the Moladi building technology from South Africa, in Lagos, last week.

At the public presentation of the pilot scheme of the project, Chief Executive Officer of Moladi, Mr. Hennie Botes, remarked that the Moladi technology combines a lightweight, reusable and recyclable modular injection moulded plastic shutter plastic formwork system and a lightweight aerated mortar (concrete with no stone), resulting in durable and permanent monolithic (one piece) reinforced walling system, which is earthquake, cyclone and tsunami resistant.

Botes, who is also the inventor of the technology, said that the system addresses seven key challenges embodied in the low cost and affordable housing shortages facing developing countries namely: lack of resources, insufficient funds, skills shortage, time constraint, work flow control, time constraints, waste, and reduction of building materials cost
“The modular components are assembled into easy to handle panels which are configured into a mould of the desired structure.

These panels are joined to form wall configurations of any desired length and height with a wall cavity of either 100mm or 150mm. Once the assembly of the panels are complete, it does not need to be repeated. The formwork panels can be re-used 50 times; making the technology cost effective due to its repetitive application scheme, reducing the cost of construction and transportation significantly.

The steel reinforcing, window and door block-outs, conduits and other fittings are positioned prior to the wall cavity being filled with the mortar mix. The result is a wall with a smooth off-shutter finish that does not require any plastering, beam filling or chasing. Once the pre-assembled formwork panels have been removed they can be immediately re-erected on an adjoining site to be used on a repetitive basis; again saving valuable time in the construction process.

“With its streamlined and simplistic approach to construction, the application of the technology is not dependant on skilled labour to assemble, erect, fill or strip and enables community involvement in the construction of their own homes. It brings to the field of construction all the benefits of a factory assembly line; quality assured work by unskilled labourers at a maximum rate of production with a high production output capacity.

The technology is versatile in that it is easily adaptable to the specified design requirements and is suitable for all types of buildings, yet highly suited for use in repetitive housing schemes. This alleviates many of the logistical problems facing the construction of affordable repetitive housing projects. By utilizing indigenous materials the benefits of the technology are spread to local communities.” he stated.

Botes said that the concept came to him in 1986 while building a wall around his first home. He said that the building process took up quite a bit of time prompting him to investigate alternatives to reduce the construction time and still create a good quality wall.

According to him, Moladi is a low construction cost technology and has nothing to do with low-cost housing systems. “The principle can be applied to any house, whether low-cost housing or for up market developments.”

Earlier in his welcome remarks, Sen. Bode Olajumoke, Chairman, Malodi Nigeria Ltd., the Nigerian partners of the SA firm, said that having followed the impact of the technology on the delivery of mass housing in South Africa, they decided to enter into partnership with the company by incorporating it in Nigeria.

The Moladi building technology was established in South Africa in by Hennie Botes in 1986 to address the basic need for durable and quality housing that is affordable, and a viable alternative to traditional building methods.

The company is presently operating in Panama, Mexico, Ghana Namibia and Mozambique. Others are Botswana, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Angola and Tanzania. “We want Moladi to become a global leader in house building technology,” Botes asserted.


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