A property firm, EchoStone Nigeria Limited, has introduced a technology that will facilitate the delivery of houses in the country.
Through this technology, the firm hopes to deliver four units of two-bedroom flats in 14 days. Echostone officials said it would help in reducing the three million housing deficit in Lagos State, and the over 17 million deficit across the country.
The firm said the technology, which allows for rapid construction, will be deployed in the state beginning with 250 units of two-bedroom detached bungalows in Idale Housing Scheme in Badagry Local Government Area of Lagos State.
A unit in the estate, which will have state-of-the-art facilities, will cost N9 million. The firm plans to construct 2,000 housing units in three LGAs, including Ayobo in Alimosho and Imota in Ikorodu.
The ground-breaking event for the Idale Housing Scheme, known as Peridot Parkland, Idale, Badagry, was held at the Lagos State Vocational Education Centre premises at Agidingbi, Ikeja.
EchoStone’s Global Chief Executive Officer/co-founder, Mr. Anthony Recchia, stressed the need for industrialisation of housing. He said rapid urbanisation and population explosion in Lagos required radical construction technology to bridge the housing deficit of over three million in the state.
According to Reccia, since construction has not evolved in the last 50 years, industrialisation would bridge huge housing demand gap, while the mortgage institutions could effectively drive the supply.
“What we really need is the industrialisation of labour, along with the technology to create the asset, which then produces the mortgages,’’ Recchia said.
On the scope of work to expect, he said four housing units would be finished on the Badagry site every two weeks, noting that the project on the 10 hectares would be completed within three months.
Recchia said training of local artisans had started to ensure skill transfer to residents, saying that the project was also creating jobs.
“Mostly, what I see on the job side is that it is gender neutral; of men and women working together with women running the machines and helping with the form-works,’’ he said.
EchoStone co-founder/President, Business Development, Mr. Ander Lindquist, explained that the form works to be used on the project would eliminate time wastage and could construct a minimum of eight homes daily.
According to him, Echostone presents a paradigm shift in technology construction and showcases the missing link between housing deficit and demand. He said some housing solutions were slow, unable to scale effectively and most times incapable of working in traditionally challenging geographic environments.
The Echostone boss added that the carbon footprint caused by traditional construction technologies is largely unsustainable in the long run as seen in its short life cycles, while the houses being built for low income communities require significant continuous maintenance.
Lindquist said the technology also provided 7.5 percent lower temperature in the homes, thereby reducing the need for air conditioners. He said electrical and plumbing fittings alongside other accessories, were done simultaneously with the construction, thereby ensuring durability of the facilities for over 50 years without maintenance.
Peridot Parkland, Lindquist further said, would also have facilities like green areas, power supply, street lights, sewage reticulation, carparks, among others.
Indeed, the Echostone project is seen as a further complement of the government’s plan to construct 20,000 houses in the state in four years.
Other developers are expected to complete the 20,000 housing units target within this period.
Echostone has started work in Badagry using the technology, believed to reduce the carbon footprint by 40 per cent.
The Executive Secretary, Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB), Mrs Omolara Erogbogbo, praised the firm for choosing to construct a prototype in the school. She explained that the skill transfer to the students of the centre is an invaluable knowledge which remains very important in driving change in construction methods in the country.
A representative of Homebase Mortgage Bank, one of the mortgage banks providing support for purchase of the 64 square meters two-bedroom detached bungalow, Mr. Derin Adediran, said the mortgage institution has in place the financial capabilities to help residents finance their dream of owning their own homes.
The project is in partnership with the state government.