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The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in India in December 2011 launched a revolutionary concrete panel based house which is aimed at providing quality affordable homes.

RICS called it the India Concept House (ICH), which will reduce on site construction time by 90%, deliver housing in just four to six weeks and can have one to four rooms.

In a country that has a housing shortfall of nearly 27 million homes, and inherent construction problems including shortages in skilled manpower, traditional brick and mortar construction is hugely limited.

Housing in India is still hand crafted and the industry is heavily depended on manual labour and on site construction. This leads to large amounts of material wastage and labour inefficiency, not to mention reduced quality and thermal comfort levels, says RICS.

ICH has been developed with the objective of bringing standardisation, and the principal of supply chain and assembly line production to construct houses. The project was inspired by the automobile industry, in which vehicles were also hand crafted until Ford’s introduction of the Model T in 1908 introduced assembly line production.

Affordable housing in India need a similar approach of component based off site production with supply chain linkages to the material suppliers and backward linkages to create skill manpower. This will help houses to be manufactured rather than built.

There are four key features of the house; building panels, fast construction time, being sustainable and self sufficient and efficient to deliver.

The panels are based on a modular component system which relies on precast concrete technology to provide solid, durable, prefinished panels for painting or tiling and if desired, eliminates finishing entirely.

The construction time can be reduced by 90%. Its modular construction system enables a 23 square meter home to be built in four weeks and a 93 square meter house to be built in six weeks. The components are easily transportable, eliminating the need for material handling equipment.

The house is designed to reduce energy usage by 50%. It achieves an even temperature throughout the year. Water is captured and recycled.

A prototype will be built in 2012 in order to evaluate manufacturing, delivery and construction, and to measure the house’s thermal comfort, energy and water consumption. RICS will promote the concept to the industry as an example of the kind of offsite mass housing solutions which can revolutionise the market for affordable mass housing solutions in India.

Adapted from propertywire

(this article written for 1BINA.my)