24 November 2021 | Verkehr & Transport
Building Namibia our own way
Tutungeni Precast brings new hope to the housing crisis
Namibia’s housing backlog is estimated to be at 300 000 units, with 84 000 of that occurring just in Windhoek. The latest Community Land Information Programme (CLIP) numbers show that there are 282 informal settlements with 228 423 shacks accommodating about 950 000 people in the country. This means more than 40% of our overall population and around 80% of the urban population currently lives in shacks.
These stark realities were among the reasons why Wessel Loubser of Tutungeni Precast and his partners decided to apply themselves to solve this challenge.
“Windhoek’s population is constantly growing. The supply of low-cost housing is below the demand and prices are skyrocketing,” he said.
“Twelve years ago, we felt compelled to help find a solution to the lack of adequate housing, schools and other key community infrastructure in our country. Though we started with a very basic concept, over the years we were able to innovate on that basis and come up with a proven, cost-effective building solution that has not only won the backing of engineering and standards authorities, but also major financing institutions, which we’re all very proud of.”
Precast with passion
Precast concrete has been around just about as long as concrete itself, dating back roughly to around 1300 BC. Though many may have grown up around this application mainly being used for barriers and backyard sheds, the team at Tutungeni have taken this technology and revolutionised it to provide a standard of safety and comfort not yet seen before.
“It was a long and hard journey, because we simply started out by taking our already popular precast product and building a house out of it. Since then, we have worked tirelessly, year by year, to get to the point where we have a product that meets SANS 10400 and Agreement SA Standardisation and is approved by banking institutions and the regulatory authorities as a safe, bankable solution that you can be confident in investing in for your home, school or even clinic,” he said.
The panels and poles are manufactured using concrete and steel, with a density of 35 megapascals. The upright poles used to support the panels are sunk 600 mm into the ground and concreted into position, after which the specially-engineered panels are then ‘slid’ into place.
The roofing structure is identical to that of a standard building, whether a flat or gable roof is selected. From there, the client can select whether walls should be plastered, what ceilings should be installed and whether aircons should be fitted or even the number and size of windows they would like.
“The finishes of these buildings are entirely subject to the needs of the individual customer. We structure it like that so as to accommodate the needs, budgets and tastes of all our customers,” Loubser explained.
Not only are these structures cost effective and quick to build, but they also come highly recommended.
“Our firm has used it to construct a house for one of our employees living in Rehoboth and that house was approved by the Rehoboth town council. We have no hesitation to confirm that this precast system is structurally sound and that the end result conforms to all the building regulations,” Windhoek Consulting Engineers stated in a reference letter.
To get your Tutungeni palace, all you need to do get in contact with them at tutungeni.net, provide them with a basic hand-drawn sketch in 1.5m lengths, what types of finishes you require and where you’re located. After that, they will start the design and zoning process, while you sort out your financing with First National Bank Namibia or Agribank and your insurance with Old Mutual. A few weeks later your home or block of classrooms will be up and ready to inhabit. Alternatively, call them on 061 259 404.