WINDHOEK: Vela Building Solutions is in the forefront of providing decent and affordable housing to thousands of Namibians.
At a cost of N.dollars 150 000, excluding the land, Vela Building Solutions offers a two-bedroom house of about 43 square metres to home-seekers.
At the foundation-laying ceremony at the Windhoek Showgrounds on Wednesday, Chief Executive Officer of Wispeco Namibia, Louis van den Berg said the house will be completed in a period of three weeks before the opening of the week-long Windhoek Show, which opens its doors on 28 September.
The company is new to the local landscape, with 50 per cent shareholding by Wispeco Namibia, while the rest is held by Vela Building Solutions South Africa.
“The building industry in Namibia is continuously growing as the cost for land, labour and building supplies increase, and more and more Namibians face the hard reality that they are unable to afford building a home.
This, as well as the housing shortages currently in Namibia and throughout Africa, has led to the research and development of alternative, fast, cost-effective and sustainable housing solutions,” explained Van den Berg.
Vela’s Modular Building Solutions provides a modular solid-walled, rapid building method that delivers a high-quality permanent house or other structureat relatively low cost – by seamlessly applying the efficiencies of factory production to on-site construction that uses low skills.
This not only results in competitive pricing and fast-track construction, but also counteracts the effects of the shortage of skilled workers, non-availability of building materials in remote areas and the need for maintaining construction quality.
It is ideally suited for Government-financed community housing projects.
The Vela system consists of 1.2 metre-wide structurally insulated interlocking panels that vary in height up to three metres, and are 110 millimetres thick excluding plaster). The panels consist of fire-rated magnesium oxide outer boards with a solid inner core of polyurethane.
The thermally efficient and fire-resistant panels are provided with pre-fitted aluminium or steel windows and door frames, and can be economically transported whilst flat-packed over long distances.
Once erected and plastered, there is no visible difference between a conventionally built structure and the modular unit.
The Modular Building Solutions’ system is certified by SA Agre’ment, a division of the South African Bureau of Standards SABS), and is compliant with the US IRC R614building code.
Since the inception of the company in South Africa in 2007, Van den Berg said, projects to the tune of N.dollars 275 million have been completed there that include 12 schools, while 1 600 houses, valued at N.dollars 150 million, were built in Angola over a period of 18 months.
Vela also supplied lightweight steel structures for the All African Games in Mozambique during 2011.
The company also offers training of labourers to manage the construction of the units, availability of building materials for remote areas, and inspection at sites.
“We recognised the need for alternative building solutions in Namibia as an important driver for not only the building industry, but also the Namibian economy,” he enthused.
At the same occasion, Van den Berg announced that through a text message competition, Namibians stand a chance to win a similar house to the one under construction at the Windhoek Showgrounds.
More details will be announced in due course.