Friday 28 February, 2020

BSJ gets money from NHT to develop bamboo houses

Photo: Director of Special Projects at the BSJ, Gladstone Rose

Photo: Director of Special Projects at the BSJ, Gladstone Rose

The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) will shortly commence the development of affordable houses utilising bamboo, from a $54-million donation by the National Housing Trust (NHT).

According to Director of Special Projects at the BSJ, Gladstone Rose, the project will get underway in February, with demonstration units being placed at various NHT sites, for the construction sector to have the first-hand view of the houses.

“We expect that this is going to reduce the cost of housing. We hope that enough people will invest in this, and Jamaicans will buy the houses because they are more affordable and will be built to standards, so they will be quality houses,” he told JIS News at a recent bamboo seminar, held at the agency’s Winchester Road offices, in St. Andrew.

Mr Rose said the building sector is being encouraged to utilise the bamboo technology, noting that “we have to build to withstand earthquakes and hurricanes, and this is what bamboo will help us to do”.

He noted that new jobs are on the horizon as bamboo products are produced, adding that the BSJ is providing training in furniture manufacturing and other areas. Interested persons can contact the agency and get registered for various skills development.

Through a collaborative arrangement involving the BSJ, University of Technology (UTech), University of the West Indies, and private-sector groups, research was undertaken for the incorporation of bamboo in construction, with the aim of building attractive low and middle-income houses, and tourist cabins.

Recent advances in the bamboo industry include the development of a curriculum for the National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQJ) in bamboo technology, which was facilitated by a group of persons who were trained in China.

The curriculum is now available at the National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET), for use in tertiary institutions.

Scores of persons across the island, aged 18 to 35, have been trained in bamboo preservation, and the development of high-quality bamboo by-products.

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