Harare City Council is putting on trial a new housing technology called Imison Building System, which is expected to speed up housing delivery and reduce the cost of construction. The system is made up of composite walling in which a mixture of expanded polystyrene and steel framing sprayed on concrete is used for the construction of buildings. The city is set to test the technology when a local company Pat Dunn and Company, which has a license to market and distribute the Imison Building System in Zimbabwe, constructs a new records office for the city at its Kuwadzana District Office.
The company offered to build the nine roomed office, which will take only three weeks to complete, as part of selling the building technology to the city. According to the recent minutes of the Environmental Management Committee, director of works Engneer Philip Pfukwa said the new building system uses cost effective yet durable materials which in the end can reduce building costs.
“In an endeavour to market their Imison Building System in Harare, Pat Dunn and Company offered to construct a new records office at Kuwadzana District Office,” reads the minutes. “The proposed records office would have nine rooms, concrete floor and concrete interlocking roofing tiles, among other features.
“The main obligation of the sub-contractor would be to supply all plant and materials required in this project, free of charge, whereas the main obligations of the city would be to ensure all regulatory approvals and permits for the construction of the office are processed free of charge, provision of all skilled, semi-skilled and general labour required.”
The envisaged construction period would be three weeks for assembling the unit and one week for connecting services such as water and electricity. The committee expressed the need for Eng. Pfukwa to supervise the construction of the office and authorised acting town clerk Mrs Josephine Ncube to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with Patt Dunn and Company.
The city is in the process of relaxing its building by-laws in conformity with the new housing policy that seeks to speed up housing delivery and reduce the cost of construction. Residents are now permitted to use farm bricks for inside walls, but would still be required to use the Standard Association of Zimbabwe approved bricks for outer walls that carry the roof.