The Department of Civil Engineering of the Engineering Faculty of Peradeniya University conducting a study about the technical implications of the 65000 housing project in the North, has stated that the pre- fabricated houses are the best option to meet the high demand for housing in the war affected Northern and Eastern provinces, the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs said today.
The study is an academia driven independent assessment carried out with regard to the technical implications of the 65,000 housing project implemented by the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs.
The report states that the measurements of temperature and humidity inside pre-fabricated metal houses and conventional block work houses showed no major difference. ( Paragraph 3.2 of the report).
According to the report, the cost of a pre-fabricated house that will be constructed with other facilities such as solar power connection, toilet facilities, furniture etc will not deviate much from the cost of a conventional house with the same facilities.
The assessment report further notes that pre-fabricated houses are much favourable when considering the amount of local material, labour and time that have to be invested in constructing conventional houses. Due to the large number of houses that have to be constructed within the span of several years, the pre- fabricated houses seem a feasible option because according to the report , pre- fabricated houses cause less environmental impact, less contribution to soil erosion, material depletion and less use of local timber.
The report has also made several recommendations to improve the model pre-fabricated houses built in Kopai and Thellipillai. The ArcelorMittal construction company have taken into account, the recommendations regarding corrosion, roofing panels, ventilation and the use of firewood for cooking and the Company has provided an explanation about the recommendations as well.
ArcelorMittal, explaining about the concern raised with regard to corrosion has stated that the steel panels are manufactured using ArcelorMittal latest patented metallic coated steel (ZM Evolution and Magnelis) which provides enhanced anti corrosion properties.
Further the company has stated in their reply that they will install in each room, passive ventilation below the roof in order to enhance air flow and that considering the local usages, they will study the implementation of a concrete cooking bench aside from the house even though using gas is proven to be cheaper than firewood as it is costly to harvest. (Colombo Gazette)