The National Housing Development Corporation (NHDC) is exploring the possibility of using alternative housing materials such as prefabricated building components or stabilized mud blocks to afford cheaper accommodation to middle and low-income people.
The corporation plans to implement this project in far-flung districts or urban centres in Bhutan where accessibility is difficult or the cost of construction for conventional materials is high.
This plan is being initiated to cut down on the soaring costs of transporting construction materials to such places and to basically reduce the cost of construction and the timetaken to complete the construction.
Places like Lhuentse, Dagana and Gasa were among the places in dire need of housing and where such constructions are best suited. Prefab components constitute structural steel frames, cement board walls and ceiling and CGI sheet on steel roof truss which will be manufactured at the factory while theother, stabilized mud block comprises load-bearing stabilized mud block as wall, ceiling of ply board or cement board and CGI sheet on steel or timber roof truss which will be manufactured at the construction site.
According to NHDC, the estimates will be difficult to ascertain at the moment because currently, it is just looking at the economic viability of the construction using either of the two materials.
“Our engineers are working on it right now and we will be able to provide the definite information only upon the completion of our design and estimates,” said the General Manager of Designing and Planning, NHDC, Rinchen.
Rinchen said some of the benefits of using locally available materials were to generate employment and to cut down on overall cost of construction.