As part of efforts at closing the housing demand-supply gap in Nigeria estimated at 17 million units, Alpha Mead Development Company (AMDC)—a relatively young but dynamic real estate investment and development company—has entered the property market fully equipped to break the affordability jinx and bring down house prices.
AMDC is the developer and promoter of Lekki Pearl Estate, a moderate mid-income community comprising 112 housings units of various house-types located in the upscale, highly urbanizing Lekki Peninsula adjudged today the fastest developing real estate destination in Lagos.
At a press conference in Lagos recently, the company which is one of the business units of Alpha Mead Facilities & Management Services Ltd (AMFacilities), announced its strategic development plans to lower the entry level for middle income home buyers in Nigeria.
Femi Akintunde, AMFacilities MD/CEO, explained to journalists that AMDC was deploying a new building technology known as Modular Building System or Formwork Panels in the construction of Lekki Pearl in order to achieve their aim of not only reducing the cost, but also increasing the speed of construction.
To make this happen, Akintunde disclosed that AMDC has entered into strategic partnership with Wall-Ties & Forms International (WTF), a recognized world leader in the formwork industry that produces and ships over 30 million ties a year and over 200,000 aluminum concrete forms to Brazil, Singapore, Mexico and 42 other countries of the world.
“Our partnership with WTF is one of our strategies for 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 initial large deposit or collateral”, he explained.
The Modular Building System, also called Formwork Panels, are aluminum panels that ensure strict quality control, consistent building quality and, according to Akintunde, the formworks systems ease construction process, drive down cost of building by over 20 percent and increase the speed of construction to as much as delivering a house every week post foundation.
“Our aim is to lower the entry level for home ownership to just guaranteed regular income from where the monthly N250,000 installments can be paid; we want to help middle income Nigerians who are unable to raise the large capital most developers demand as deposit, or are unable to build due to the large capital involved”, he assured.
Damola Akindolire, AMCD’s General Manager, noted that about 20- 30 percent of construction cost goes into waste such as broken ties, damaged blocks, plywood, bamboo, personnel cost, adding that costs were also incurred from extended period of conventional building systems, and poor finishing.
“We are not just saying we want to drive down cost of owning a quality home; our focus is to lower the market entry barriers for home buyers through the use of a technology that can help eliminate wastes that would have been built into the construction cost”, he explained.
“The formworks we are using on our site have the capacity of eliminating wastes and saving time. For example, our solutions can build a house in about seven days with an average of six-10 personnel without the use of cranes or heavy duty machinery. That means we can eliminate the cost of damaged building materials and pass that saving to our customers. Also, we can save the cost of paying personnel for about 50 days, if we had employed the conventional building methods”, he added.
He assured that AMDC was a dynamic real estate development company with a current capacity to use technology to deliver up to 10,000 homes to middle income Nigerians in the next five years.