Yesterday morning, together with the Director of Housing Development, took a stock on how construction is going on in the various packages which we have awarded to several contractors. Altogether there are like 6 different main contractors building around 1,931 houses in the Meragang area plus about 800+s in the Tanah Jambu. They are all due for completion by next year or 2012.
Next year we will see a bumper crop of housing. Together with the 2,000 houses in Pandan built by BEDB plus our smaller projects in Rimba, there should be more than 4,000 families receiving their houses. For the Belait District, it should cover applicants quite close to the year 2000 but for applicants in Brunei/Muara District, these houses in Meragang will bring in 1993 and 1994 applicants.
The houses are built much faster now due to technology changes. Previously, you would see contractors building the tiang, the beams etc before laying the bricks. We learnt which is fast and the one built by Bina Puri in Pandan did not use much bricks for the side walls but uses a plastic formwork. Instead of using bricks, the side walls are literally concrete with reinforced bars in the middle. When they poured the concrete in, the plastic formwork became the mould. With this method, time is slashed.
For the houses in Tanah Jambu currently being built by Adinin, the contractors are using similar methods but instead of using plastic formwork, they use aluminium formwork. Another company building our housing in Sungai Liang which is SKS is also using aluminium formwork. As a result the government is also building houses at a much faster rate.
This is what the formwork look like while waiting for the concrete to be poured in. The house looked as if it is encased in steel.
Once the cements are dry, they take off the formwork and goes to the next house to build the next house.
The major difference between Adinin and Bina Puri is the thickness of the walls in between the terrace houses. In Pandan, it is about 100 mm thick (4 inches) but for Tanah Jambu, it is about 125 mm thick (5 inches). Brick walls are normally 6 inches thick.
And the inevitable group photo at the end of the visit.