AMDC adopts new technology to reduce homeownership cost

Akintunde

The MD/CEO Alpha Mead Facilities & Management Services Ltd (AMFacilities), Femi Akintunde; President, Wall-Ties & Forms International (WTF), Ross Worley and GM Real Estate Development, AMFacilities, Damola Akindolire at the press briefing announcing a partnership between Alpha Mead Development Company (AMDC) and WTF in Lagos, recently

WITH the clamour for alternative building solutions to close the nation’s 17 million housing gap, a Lagos-based property developer has entered into strategic partnership with an American firm to domesticate its technology, which will ease the process of construction and drive down the cost of building by a very wide margin.

The partnership was between Alpha Mead Development Company (AMDC), one of the Strategic Business Units of leading Facilities Management Company, Alpha Mead Facilities & Management Services Ltd (AMFacilities) and one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of the Modular Building System, Wall-Ties & Forms International (WTF).

Known as Formwork Panels, the technology utilises aluminum panels that ensure strict quality control and consistent building quality when compared to conventional building methods.

WTF produces over 200,000 aluminum concrete forms to Brazil, Singapore, and other markets in 45 countries around the world.       More importantly, with the formworks, the speed of construction is expected to increase to as much as delivering a house every week, post foundation and each set of forms can be re-used up to 1,000 times, “while the economy of scale behind this re-usability will in the long run, further drive down the cost building to the benefit of the market,” according to Managing Director/CEO of the company, Mr. Femi Akintunde, an engineer.

Akintunde who spoke during a press briefing in Lagos where the company officially announced its partnership, said: “We will be able to achieve this feat, due to our method of construction which is a cast-in-situ system that would allow us set up the panels along with the mechanical and electrical services, within three days using an average of six personnel.

The concrete pour also takes place within a few hours, so the entire construction process can be carried out within seven days, and build as many units concurrently using multiple numbers of forms.

Our solution can be used to build houses, shopping complexes, and other types of structures with large units in single or multiple locations     “Our customers will also benefit from living in homes with fine cuts and finishing.

As you know, our industry still battles with a huge gap in artisan skill and craftsmanship; so we adopted this technology to bridge that gap. Because they are pre-cast panels, we can deliver consistent dimension and linearity of such fittings as the doors, windows and other building elements to our customers.

As an environmentally responsible organization, one of our attractions to this technology is also its environmental-friendly nature. The formwork construction reduces the use of wood work, which we believe is one of the ways to discourage deforestation.”

Akintunde disclosed that the company entered into the partnership with WTF as one of its strategies in exploring innovative technology to build quality houses, and lower the entry level for middle-income home buyers from the current market average of N6 million to as low as N250, 000 monthly, without any initial large deposit or collateral.

His words: “We believe that if the home ownership entry level for the average Nigerian is pegged at the current N6 million average, many Nigerians, especially middle-income earners will find it difficult to own a home; or at best, reach their retirement age before their legitimate income can attain this deposit requirement level.”

The Alpha Mead CEO revealed that the company has already recorded 60 per cent off-plan subscription on its flagship project – the 112 units Lekki Pearl Estate – where the formworks are being used for construction. “We have completed more than 70 per cent of the close to one kilometer access road leading into the estate, with dual drainage; and the show house will be ready for construction over the next 10 days.

The General Manager, Real Estate Development of the company,  Damola Akindolire noted that, about 20-30 per cent of construction cost goes into waste such as broken tiles, damaged blocks, plywood, bamboo, personnel cost; due to the extended period of conventional building systems, and poor finishing.

His words:  “We are not just saying we want to drive down cost of owning a quality home because it is the right thing to say in a market with a very high entry barrier; our focus is to lower the market entry barriers for home buyers through the use of technology that can help eliminate wastes that would have been built into the construction cost.



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