A local timber and roof shingle-making company has announced plans to introduce pre-fabricated homes to the Guyanese market with a complete structure ready in as little as 18 days.
The product is also one of the entries vying for the Presidential Award for new housing innovations during this weekend’s International Building Expo to be held at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
The winner is expected to be announced during tomorrow’s opening ceremony.
Bulkan Timber Works Inc, which runs its main operations from the old glass factory at Yarrowkabra, Soesdyke/Linden Highway, has been keeping a low profile but conducting significant production at the site, catering almost exclusively to a Caribbean market since starting business in the late 90s.
From decking, mouldings, wooden windows and doors, and shingles, the company during a media tour of its factory yesterday, said that it is ready to now unveil its latest product…the prefabricated homes.
While management admitted that the cost may be a tad high for the working class family, ordering from the company could see construction time for a home reduced by months.
According to manager, Justin Bulkan, all the materials used by the company are fully kiln-dried, which virtually reduces the possibilities of the wood shrinking or moving after installation. It also strengthens the wood and reduces the possibilities of termites, thus ensuring a home could last from years.
The company, while in the short term is targeting the middle class families, is now examining the possibilities of producing even cheaper prefabricated homes. But right now, the focus will be on delivering a quality home.
According to the company’s Managing Director, Howard Bulkan, a 700-square foot home that was on display at the Yarrowkabra office could cost as little as $7M.
Already, the company has installed six state-of-the-art kiln-drying facilities and is operating in mobile power saws in its forest concessions, reducing waste and costs. Its kiln uses the waste wood to power boilers that dry the lumber.
According to George Bulkan, another manager, the shingle roof produced has the potential to withstand hurricane winds of up to 150 miles per hour, something fortunately with which Guyana does not have to contend.
The company has even gone a little further. It has mastered a technique of reducing the sap from wallaba, a very durable wood which traditionally could only be used outside. Kiln-drying the wood has now made it possible for wallaba walls and deckings to be made for internal use.
The homes also use a technique of the nails being driven through the side of the wood to hide them.
The company uses no chemicals on the wood and gives away the sawdust and other byproducts to residents in the area who in turn resell them to chicken farmers or use it for the production of coals.
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