“We are looking at the problem of affordable housing form the perspective of a solutions provider,” says Jean-Marie Ardisson, market manager, Owens Corning Composites Systems Business. “We are assessing any and all materials to build durable, affordable housing for less fortunate people in countries across the globe.”
Two projects are under development in Turkey and Central America. In Turkey, Owens Corning and pipe factory partner Yapi Merkezi Group have combined their financial and market power to form a second partnership to develop and sell pre-engineered building systems for the housing sector in global markets. The massive earthquake that shook Turkey in August 1999 has intensified the need for homes for people who were displaced. The homes are being built using Yapi Merkezi innovations in concrete block masonry, including the proprietary Yapi Block system.
In Central America, Owens Corning is working with Systemas de Ambiente of Puerto Rico on an affordable housing project using laminates of reinforced polyester sandwiching a core of glass beads. A house using the Ambiente wall system is one-fourth the weight of one using traditional materials, is easily installed in approximately two days with a crew of four people and costs about $12,000.
“Our affordable housing program is making use of our expertise as a systems provider in building materials and composites,” says Ardisson. “It allows Owens Corning to facilitate the services surrounding affordable housing and add substantial sales and income without a lot of capital investment.