Inauguration of an 8-in-1 Affordable Urban Housing Demonstration Block in Nyarugenge District, Kimisagara Sector

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Local news, 15.10.2018

The inauguration of the “8-in-1 Affordable Urban Housing Demonstration Block”, showcasing the possibilities of the Modern Bricks Technology developed by the Swiss PROECCO Project was held in Kigali on Tuesday, October 2nd 2018. The ceremony took place in presence of the Minister of State for Socio-Economic Development, the Mayor of the City of Kigali and the Swiss Ambassador to Rwanda.

Kigali, Rwanda – “The new demonstration house behind us is the result of a partnership between the PROECCO project, the City of Kigali, the Nyarugenge District and the Rwanda Housing Authority. The objective is to design and construct a multifamily housing block in a dense urban neighborhood that serves as on-the-job training for construction firms both public and private” stated Ralf Heckner, Ambassador of Switzerland to Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Somalia (based in Kenya).

The demonstration project introduces an innovative design to accommodate an optimum number of people on a standard plot while enabling a private access for each property. Each unit also has its own garden. The 8-in-1 Affordable Housing Demonstration Block was designed and constructed within the framework of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation’s PROECCO Programme (Promoting off-farm employment and income through climate responsive construction material production), which aims at creating off-farm jobs in Rwanda’s building material and construction sectors. In addressing the construction materials value chain, the project, implemented by the Swiss Engineering Company SKAT Ltd., creates jobs on each step from the sourcing of raw material, to brick production, transport and finally construction. The PROECCO project estimates that hundreds of new semi-industrial brick factories would be required to meet the growing demand, each one with the potential for creating 100 direct jobs and at least as many indirect jobs.

“With a demand of 300 new urban buildings and dwellings units per day, Kigali and other Rwandan cities need local building materials to replace the costly imports that contribute to high housing prices,” says Marie-Chantal Rwakazina, Mayor of the City of Kigali.

The 8-in-1 Affordable Urban Housing Demonstration Block showcases a customizable modular housing system based on modern bricks “Made in Rwanda”. The design relies on a wall construction technology that minimizes the amount of cement mortar that drives costs down by 30 per cent. Effective costs are estimated between 220 - 250 USD per square meter, including a 10% contractor profit and only approximately 80 USD of the cost per square meter accounts for imported goods.

“Using PROECCO’s 8-in-1 house, we are proudly demonstrating that the “Made in Rwanda” brand can deliver good quality, affordable housing solutions with less than 20 million FRW (approx. 22 000 USD) per unit” assures Marie-Chantal Rwakazina

The demonstration house is not an end in itself. Its role is to create momentum for actors of the value chain in the construction sector and to serve as an entry point for the private sector.  Skat Consulting Ltd acts as a construction industry facilitator, providing technical and advisory services to young Rwandan laborers and innovative entrepreneurs willing to pioneer the environment-friendly production of modern bricks, tiles and slab blocks to make modern brick walls and buildings affordable, strong and durable.

Since 2013, the project has supported dozens of rural and peri-urban brick cooperatives, entrepreneurs and investors, and demonstrated a range of affordable and easy-to-operate industrial brick production technologies as well as highly affordable modern brick construction systems.

The PROECCO program continues Switzerland’s longstanding commitment to support Rwanda in developing strong value chains in the construction sector that can generate employment and contribute to building safe and habitable cities for future generations.   

With 78% of Kigali’s population living in unplanned settlements and High Risk Zones, the compact design of the Demonstration Block responds to the unique planning and construction challenges associated with building in dense, urban environments by introducing cost-effective and para-seismic building solutions suitable for difficult terrains.

“We very much hope that in ten years’ time this demonstration house will not stand here alone as a “monument” but will be part of the new face of the city of Kigali with thousands of its kind” urged Amb. Ralf Heckner.  

For information, please contact:

Nadège Kanyange

Communication Coordinator

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