The National Housing Programme (NHP) said it had designed and produced energy efficient brick houses to suit the tropical climate in the country.
The Zonal Director, North Central Zone of NHP, Mr Val Nwaimo said this after inspecting some pilot brick buildings at the NHP site in Minna, Niger State.
According to him, the laterite used in producing the brick houses is non-conductive, thereby preventing heat within the buildings.
The brick housing project is a pilot in the on-going housing programme, with sites in Niger, Ekiti, Enugu and Ondo States.
“We have seen the various building types especially the pilot building which we want to grow in Nigeria if it gains acceptability of Nigerians.
“Considering the tropical nature of Nigeria, we need materials or buildings that are energy efficient because what makes rooms hot is the outdoor temperature.
“If you have materials that are non-conductive, they don’t conduct heat or transmit heat inside the building; whether there is fan or not, the atmosphere will remain conducive in the building.
“That is what this pilot building is all about.’’
Nwaimo explained that the pilot project was a sample to check its acceptability.
“If people like the brick houses, then we can produce them en-mass for Nigerians.
“The brick is made from a mixture of Laterite (called red earth or clay) with cement.
“The house remains cool when the weather is hot and it is also cost effective while block houses always allow heat to penetrate, in addition to being costly.
“Another advantage of a brick house is that the outer part of the building is not painted; it remains natural but block houses require painting both inside and outside.
“These are cost reducing benefits for using brick houses,’’ he said.
Nwaimo said his visit was to assess the progress made, infrastructure provided to compliment the housing units and the impact of the project on national economic growth and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Minna.
He thanked the people and government of Niger state for their support and commended the federal team in charge of the project on the quality of work on site.
The Team Leader, Niger state NHP, Mr Ibrahim Bala explained that limited facilities were added to ensure affordability of each housing unit by low income earners.
“We have 20 indigenous contractors in addition to skilled and unskilled artisans on site working on 52 units of two bedrooms, 24 units of three bedrooms and four units of one bedroom.
“After you have bought a unit, you can add the facilities that you want because there is space created for such.
“We are currently working on the cost of the houses and very soon, you will see the advert.
Bala said that work on basic amenities and infrastructure would commence as soon as funds were made available while the project would be completed in the next five months.
Mr John Adekunle, Chairman of site contractors, said the project contractors had maintained high standard of materials.
“I also ensure that artisans in the state, including 50 community workers are engaged on site, because one of the objectives of this project is for the community to benefit maximally,’’ he said.