Italian firm introduces low-cost building technology

Schnell House, an Italian company has introduced a cost-effective housing construction technology in the country.The new technology is capable of reducing construction cost by half compared to the traditional brick and mortar-house, according to the area manager of the company, Gianmario Conti.
 The Italian firm Schnell House has introduced innovative housing construction technology to facilitate home ownership among low income earners. (Photo J Mbanda)
The Italian firm Schnell House has introduced innovative housing construction technology to facilitate home ownership among low income earners. (Photo J Mbanda)

Schnell House, an Italian company has introduced a cost-effective housing construction technology in the country.

The new technology is capable of reducing construction cost by half compared to the traditional brick and mortar-house, according to the area manager of the company, Gianmario Conti.

Speaking to The New Times, Charles Haba, a representative of the company in Rwanda, said that the technology would avail affordable houses because no developer presently caters for the needs of the ordinary people.

“In a bid to find a solution for the low income earners, there is need to be innovative and look for alternative ways for building, which are efficient and less costly,” said Haba.

He said the technology would cut back on housing construction costs by 30-40 percent compared to the usual method.

The technology is presently undergoing trial in a joint venture between the Italian company and Zigama Investments, a flagship of CSS Zigama, a credit and savings bank.

The technology uses materials such as galvanised steel, wire mesh and compressed Styrofoam. The houses are built using panels all through.

Conti says that the houses are not only durable, but are also resistant from fire and natural tremors. The house withstands such disasters eight times higher than the traditional houses. He added that the houses are also constructed in a shorter time with less labour.

“A house, which would take six to seven months to be completed using the traditional materials takes us only one month using this technology,” says Conti.

After marketing the technology to the population, Zigama Investments plans to set up a plant to produce panels before embarking on a project to construct affordable houses. 

In a telephone interview with the Zigama CSS Director General, Brig. Gen. Geoffrey Byegeka,  they plan to put up between 200 and 250 housing units once the public shows an interest.

“We have 13.5 hectares of land in Kinyinya Sector, Gasabo District, where the houses will be built,” he said.

Schnell House is present in other African countries including Morocco, Algeria, DRC, Ethiopia, South Africa, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Angola and Sudan.

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