IGS and K-Rep debut low cost home ownership

By: IMMACULATE WAIRIMU

K-Rep bank’s development agency has partnered with American firm International Green Structures (IGS) Kenya Limited, to provide financing for affordable and high quality prefabricated houses, ranging in price from Sh800,000 and above.

International Green Structures provides prefabricated housing using IGS technology, which uses compressed agricultural fibre (CAF) to develop panels, which are then combined with a pre-engineered framing system to come up with a complete IG Structure. The CAF panels are made from compressed straw from wheat and rice, and take approximately four days to construct.

“The innovative manufacturing process creates firm, thermo-set panels, which exceed the strength and durability of traditional brick and cement,” said Mr Michael F McCarthy, the executive vice president, Global Marketing Strategy, IGS.

CAF Panels also provide green building aspects because other than the fact that they use wheat and rice straw which are natural materials, the manufacturing process provides low carbon footprint.

The materials also provide natural thermal control, re sound attenuating and are fire, water, mould and pest resistant, and will therefore provide a great advantage to homeowners that will opt to use the technology, said Mr McCarthy.

NEW PRODUCT

The interior of the panels also provides a strong and solid outcome, which is be very aesthetically appealing. The technology takes at most four days to erect can be made to a variety of floor plans and sizes, from one bedroom to as many as will suit the buyer.

Once the builder completes the exterior finishes, only minimal interior finishing is required before the new home owner can move into the house, adds Mr McCarthy.

“The roll out by IGS of prefabricated housing units that take approximately four days to construct and last for 30 to 40 years, has seen K-Rep move to develop a microfinance product that will fund the purchase of the complete low-cost homes”, said Dora Waruiru, managing director of K-Rep Development Bank. For K-Rep, the new housing units have opened an ideal opportunity, to offer housing at a time when the majority of our customers already own land.

“Now, we can develop a new service line of micro finance mortgages by partnering with IGS and the affordable housing solution. Our customers will be pleased with the ability to purchase a new, affordable, sustainable and modern house for their families,” said Ms Waruiru.

K-Rep will assist the potential home owners in selecting the IGStructure that best fits their needs and financial abilities, and IGS will put up the house. For the families that qualify for K-Rep funding, the loan, once repaid, will see them housed without further liabilities of rent, which is a shift many Kenyans are keen to make in owning their own houses.

“Our goal is to ensure Kenyans live quality lives, and this can only be possible if they have quality and affordable houses,” said Mr Julius Kamau, president of IGStructures Kenya. IGS will train two builders from each county.

“The outcome will be high quality, very affordable and extremely durable IGStructures and building products that can be erected in a matter of days or weeks rather than months,” said Mr Kamau.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION