Multinational company, International Green Structures (IGS) has unveiled details of a revolutionary building technology. IGS is now set to manufacture and deploy low cost housing in Kenya. Company has the potential to create up to 90,000 square meters of low cost house in a year. Most interestingly from durable materials derived from farmers’ waste after growing rice and wheat. Farmers will increase earnings, environment kept safe as farmers waste are no longer burned to pollute and Kenyans get cheaper descent homes.
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IGS is building a manufacturing facility based in Thika with an initiative set to create thousands of new jobs building houses from agricultural waste that currently gets burnt.
“Every 3,000 structures built will create up to about 1,500 jobs in a holistic solution that creates new income streams for farmers, and uses world class technology to create low cost homes,” said Richard China, President and CEO of IGS, LLC USA, presenting a case study to the Affordable Housing East Africa 2015 Conference in Nairobi.
Mr. China says 46 million East Africans living in urban slums as well as the regions two million IDP’s and one million refugees are victims of a housing crisis. Kenya will now have the appropriate technology to address it. In his case study of the economic impact of using rice and wheat waste to make high impact construction panels lays out the benefits for every 3,000 houses built of an extra $1.1 million in income to farmers. In his explanation local transport will benefit pocketing $770,000, additional local manufacturing $26.4 million and $13.3m in construction earnings.
“The sum is 1,391 additional jobs, earning $27.5m in wages, creating $4.5m in socially responsible investments, and $19.2m-worth of lifetime benefits in job training, as well as 3,000 new homes,” said Mr China.
He said opportunity in Kenya has been made possible through its rich agricultural industry and scale of production. Wheat and rice husks the major constituents of the new building materials. Wheat and rice are the most widely grown crops in Kenya after maize, he explained.
According to the 2009 economic survey about 300,000 people earn their living from rice production alone. Rice is grown once a year and it suffer from climate swings. It is expensive to produce and suffers competition from imported rice. Farmers are also vulnerable to middle men who buy their produce at lower price.
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Another problem facing cereals farmers is delayed payments from cereal boards and mills. Farmers often live in poverty despite spending much of their time and resources on farming activities.
IGS planning is expected to boost the earnings of most of the country’s smallholder rice farmers. These farmers are distributed across four major schemes namely Mwea in central Kenya and Ahero, Kano and Bunyala schemes in the western. Despite producing about 80 per cent of rice in Kenya Mwea was ranked among the poorest constituencies in Kenya. About 44 per cent of Mwea population is recorded as was living on less than Sh1200 a month, according to the Kenya Bureau of Statistic 2013 report.
Nyando constituency which the Ahero rice irrigation scheme is found supports about 15,000 people. Ahero has a poverty rate of 63 per cent while 66 per cent of Budalangi constituency with a population 67 000, where the Bunyala rice irrigation scheme is located has been rated extremely poor. Bunyala scheme supports about 10,000 households.
“In an assessment of the total construction potential from wheat and rice waste in 16 countries in and around eastern Africa, Kenya came up fifth, with a potential to generate enough waste to construct nearly 90,000 square metres of housing a year, enough living space for more than 3,000 people,” said Mr China.
This initiative will see IGS set up manufacturing plants in rice and wheat belts in the country. It is expected to create jobs in the harvesting, manufacturing, transportation, and construction sectors. This will positively impact the social economic fortunes of the local population living around irrigation schemes areas.
Julius Kamau Nyoike, IGS Kenya President, confirmed that plans are underway to launch the first manufacturing facility in Thika town. It is hope to source its raw material from local rice and wheat farmers.
To develop IGS structures, wheat or rice wastes are cured, dried and broken into small pieces. Then put in a conveyer belt. This is where the waste is subjected to extreme heat and pressure to form a rigid compound best known as Compressed Agriculture Fiber (CAF).
Compressed Agriculture Fiber (CAF) is cut into project specific lengths to assemble in a pre-engineered metal framing system. This process results in a non-toxic carbon negative mould and pest resistant. This is 100 per cent organic product with strong structural sound proofed and fire resistant buildings make it durable.
IGS structures are easy to erect. A 50 square metre shell is estimated to take less than 2 days to be put in place once the foundation is settled. It costs around $90-$100 per square meter to build houses with the new panels compared to $142 per square meter for traditional building materials. The reduced building time reduces construction costs. International Green Structures (IGS) offers a solution for the global housing crisis.
In order To meet this need, IGS takes a renewable resource to manufacture Compressed Agriculture Fiber (CAF) Panels. IT combines them with a pre-engineered framing system resulting in IGS structures, Permanent or temporary. The IGS structures are durable, affordable, and can be built significantly faster than traditional building methods.
IGS structures are culturally adaptable and ideal for homes, schools, healthcare facilities, large-scale accommodations, remote worker sites, and humanitarian needs. An in-country manufacturing facility, IGS provides an opportunity for rice and wheat farmers to add earnings, promoting sustainability, jobs and greater agricultural food security and income. IGS structures and building solutions are easy to construct creating jobs. Training and certifications for youth in manufacturing, construction, and secondary finishing products using 95 per cent local labor with obvious flow-on economic benefits.
The Outcome is high quality, affordable and extremely durable IGS structures and building products that can be erected in a matter of day and weeks. IGS has successfully built affordable IGS structures in Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, and the United States.