ECO-FRIENDLY: Innovative Modular Concepts showed off their new house which is built using a shipping container as a base.
ECO-FRIENDLY: Innovative Modular Concepts showed off their new house which is built using a shipping container as a base.

Innovation key to solving SA's housing crisis

By Rusana Philander Time of article published Mar 2, 2018

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Cape Town - As the country struggles to deliver enough houses, a company that is building modular, cost-effective housing quickly, said that innovation was key to solving the housing crisis.

The new modular housing project was recently launched in Gordon’s Bay. In the Western Cape the housing backlog stands at 575 000. It will take the provincial Housing Department about 27 years to address the backlog in the Western Cape. The provincial Human Settlements Department said they would only be able to deliver 18000 houses this year.

The managing director of Innovative Modular Concepts, Len Douglas, has been designing small housing spaces for the past 20 years. He said their showhouse modular house was built using a steel shipping container that was clad with composite, and which would otherwise have been melted. It took about four weeks to assemble. It was also cool in summer and warm in winter. It was also very cost effective and did not use bricks or cement.

“We used as little as 15 litres of water. The house is environmentally friendly and does not need a foundation, like an ordinary house. This is the future of building houses. It is very popular in Europe. It is 50m² and can cost between R180000 and R5million, depending on the need. If rolled out to poor areas it can cost as little as R180000."

Former Springbok rugby player Tonderai Chavhanga, who is also involved in the project, said: “This shows that housing does not have to be expensive. Most low-cost housing takes up to a year to complete.

"This is great and will enable us to address the housing need in the country."

Stuart Pringle, the councillor for Somerset West, said the people involved in the company were visionaries.

“This is their commitment to the area, and they are giving back to the community.”

Pringle said all innovative housing projects should be considered.

Helena Power who is also part of Innovative Modular Concepts, said when he first talked about container houses she was not very happy.

“I thought to myself that I don’t want to live in a house made out of a container. But today I am extremely proud of Gary (husband) and Len. When I first saw the container I wondered how they were going to turn it into a house. But when I look at it now, it is a complete transformation. They hardly used any water, it is on budget and delivered on time,” she said.

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Cape Argus

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