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Housing deficit: Stakeholders canvass tech-driven building system to bridge gap

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As tech-powered Lekki Pearl Estate is delivered

By Kingsley Adegboye

Affordable

Stakeholders in the housing sub-sector of the nation’s economy have called for a technology-driven building system if the huge housing deficit confronting the country is to be substantially reduced, pointing out that the conventional building method in Nigeria which involves blocks and bricks is time wasting and will take eternity to the bridge the huge gap if the country relies on the method.

Speaking weekend at the formal commissioning of 54-unit Lekki Pearl Estate, a development of Alpha Mead Development Company, located off Lekki-Epressway by Lagos Business School, the stakeholders insisted that technology-driven building system is the only way to bridge the huge gap in housing provision in Nigeria.

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Leading the advocates of technology-driven housing provision, the Managing Director, Alpha Mead Group, Femi Akintunde, an engineer, who described Lekki Pearl Estate as a major achievement for Alpha Mead family for several reasons, said “We believe Nigerians need quality housing, and quality can only be delivered when it is basically planned for.

“In this project, we put a lot of effort and energy in place to ensure this quality. This further explains

the building technology and method the company adopted in the delivery of this project. We know that there is no way we will take the same brick and mortal approach other developers are taking and deliver anything different in terms of quality experience and value.

“So, we drew from our wealth of experience as a company with strong history and track record in Facilities Management and designed a housing scheme that will be free from all issues known to increase maintenance and repair cost.

“In terms of construction, we knew speed is of essence, quality is important, and affordability is key to our target customers. So rather than build with the conventional building methods, we decided to take a technology approach to building. We partnered with a U.S-based formwork company – Wall Tiles and Forms and invested million of dollars in cast-in-situ aluminium formworks that do not only deliver homes faster, but with better quality and cost-friendly.

“With the quality achieved through this technology, residents don’t have to spend money on repairs that other do barely a few months after taking delivery of their houses. The technology can help build faster, so the customers can move in on time, and stop making multiple payments on accommodation.

“The savings made from the reduced man-power needed to use the technology, and near zero construction waste are passed on to the customers, helping them save up to 15 per cent in purchase price when compared to estates with similar specifications around the area”, Akintunde noted.

Corroborating the group managing director, the Managing Director of Alpha Mead Development Company, developers of Lekki Pearl, Damola Akindolire, said the formwork technology which was imported from USA, and which produces a housing unit in 10 days, guarantees faster delivery of houses with quality built to specifications.

According to him,restructuring usually carried out by new home owners to meet their tastes has been taken care of using the formwork technology, thereby saving home owners at Lekki Pearl 25 per cent maintenance cost. He said if this experience is taken to the national level, the country’s huge housing gap will drastically reduce.

In his remarks, Group Chairman, Alpha Mead Group, Mutiu Sumonu, said “This is a project I must say will transform the housing industry in Nigeria. What we have done here is an integrated project. It is not just a development, but a development that has as its core the maintenance of the facilities we have put here.

“So, our desire is not just to put bricks and blocks together, but to take maintenance of the estate as our core value for the benefit of the residents of the estate. Therefore, I believe that this project will revolutionalise real estate market in Nigeria to start with. We are using technology that allows us to build many houses in a few days. Every time I hear the short time it takes to complete a unit of the houses, I marvel. I believe this technology can adequately address the housing deficit of the country”, Sumonu averred.

The chairman, board of directors, Alpha Mead development Company, Mr. Dada Thomas, who said that the delivery of the estate is a testament to the fact that Alpha Mead always keeps to its promise, noted that technology can play a huge role in closing the widening housing gap in Nigeria.

“Our vision is very simple. If you think that Nigeria is lacking more than 20 million housing units for 20 million people inhabiting this shore, then we have a serous problem. Looking around, we discovered it is difficult to achieve quality and affordable housing in Nigeria. But we said we will rise to that challenge, and you could see the outcome made possible by our technology-driven building system”, Thomas stated.

 

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