Prime Minister Mia Mottley says her government is committed to building at least 10,000 new homes over the next five years and pre-engineered steel frame homes will be an integral part of that undertaking.
She made this disclosure on Tuesday during a tour of one of the first prefabricated steel-frame houses from China under construction at Scott’s Gap, Brittons Hill, St Michael.
Mottley toured an 850 square-foot, three-bedroom, one-bathroom model. However, she said Barbadians would be able to purchase homes of varying sizes, which will be offered as single dwellings, quads and duplexes.
“What is impressive to me is that the Barbadian workers who have worked on this project have mastered the technique of installation. We have local companies already in it who are working in a joint and collaborative approach with the Chinese company that has been doing it,” Mottley said.
The Prime Minister also indicated that the steel-frame houses are water-resistant, allowing the Government to achieve its roof-to-reefs standards; cool due to improved ventilation; and fireproof. She said she requested the houses be constructed with multiple windows because low-income and lower middle-income housing in the Caribbean is usually too hot with little ventilation.
The contractor, Nicholas Belle, of Light Gauge Solutions, explained that more than 90 per cent of work on the house in Brittons Hill was completed in just two and a half weeks, utilising local carpenters and masons who had been retooled for the project.
Belle said the design, which included the use of bolts and screws rather than nails, would allow the houses to stand up to Category 3 hurricanes. The pre-engineering process, he added, removed much of the potential for human error during construction. (AH)