Housing at the Bottom of the Pyramid

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Housing at the bottom of the pyramid also known as poverty housing is fast becoming a priority issue to solve for many nations.

The challenge is to bridge the gaps between affordable products, housing finance, and sustainable development as it applies to income development, social inclusion, and environmental impacts.The bottom of the pyramid is expanding at unprecedented rates, and the global housing crisis is exacerbated by policies which hinder development. However, as a business, we are addressing global construction from a vantage point few are focusing on. Namely the wider distribution of energy efficient, cost effective, construction products for the entire spectrum of development from affordable housing, schools, commercial building and housing at the bottom of the pyramid. Comprehensive solutions to poverty housing will be remedied when the larger (in numbers only not living condition) issues of a lack of adequate house are addressed overall. In other words, there is a lack of housing for middle-income people as well.

The difference is people in middle-income brackets can often pay for affordable housing; if the housing stock were available. However; production of housing is often slow, and slow construction leaves a gap in the marketplace. Also, traditional building products are becoming more expensive. Cement, for example, consumes more energy to produce then just about every other building material you can name. These traditional building materials must be displaced and room made for lower cost commodities that may not necessarily be widely known in the global construction industry outside the USA, Canada, and Europe.

Speed Up House Construction and Lower Costs

So the time it takes to build a house and the cost of building products both must be reduced. You may ask, are their solutions to this already available. We believe the answer is yes. A highly efficient to produce and use building material has been in use in the USA, Canada, and Europe for over 65 years. The time to construct a building is reduced to days, not months and the energy efficiency is some of the best available. The construction product is known as structural insulated panels which are also known as SIP construction.

How does this Affect Housing the Bottom of the Pyramid?

Easy! Two critical factors come into play. Namely:

  1. People living at the bottom of the pyramid lack many things, but one of them ( a huge one) is new money coming into the community. Most poverty environments recirculate everything. In some ways, it is very efficient, but it is also a deteriorating condition. In other world new cars do not come in but old cars are used, torn apart, and the parts reused many times. One of the things people in poverty need is new money and exporting out of poverty is one of the best ways to do that. But what can be exported? Labor and products the more affluent in society will buy. In this case building products and construction workers.
  2. As middle-income housing; built with modern more efficient and cost effective products become more available they transition further down the pyramid. Remember, at one time only the rich people built using bricks and block. Who builds with brick and block today? Almost anyone who can? They are a cheap building material, come in all kinds of grades (some better than others) but they are available.

But That’s Not Necessarily the Best Way to Build

If brick and block take too long to build with and cement consumes a lot of energy what else is there? To us the answer is obvious. SIP Panel construction. SIP Panels using MgO (magnesium oxide) skins is a blend of ancient and relatively modern materials. MgO is so old it was lost to civilization for some time. It is the glue that holds the Great Wall of China together, and it was what the Romans used in some of their construction. Both of which stand to this day.

Again, How does this Affect Housing the Bottom of the Pyramid?

Housing has to ability to fuel development across a broad spectrum. Housing policies and development programs can affect everything from commodity purchases like sand, gravel, concrete, and paint to improved services like power, water, and sanitation. The inclusion of sustainable elements like renewable energy and sanitation systems can have a dramatic impact on the bottom of the pyramid. Also, skill development and training around housing serve long into the future with residual economic sustainability through repair and maintenance services. Employment in construction with skills skills that are easy to learn makes it possible for those in poverty to work outside the community and manufacturing building products withing the poverty community for use outside it both offer infusions of money not seen before. Many problems are solved in that the housing gap shrinks, the energy efficiency of greater numbers of houses increases, and untold numbers of allied industries are created to service the new construction.

What does IADDIC offer?

We recognize the housing deficit to be one of the larger concerns of our time and some of our construction equipment, construction tools, and construction materials are intended to be used to help reduce this condition. We also recognize the need to deliver better quality middle income housing and shelters for disaster as well as schools, clinics and commercial building.

Richard Grabowski
Adequate housing and shelters are more than just products; they provide security, enable sustainable development, unite families, and help establish stable communities. Our focus at IADDIC is to bring the best technology, at the lowest cost, in the highest volume we can to make affordable housing indeed affordable.
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