One chilly March morning just when the country was drowning in the third wave of the pandemic a lady, Ms Abigail curious about affordable alternative form of accommodation ideal for an off grid set up calls our office to inquire about our services having learned about us through social media.
After a brief explanation of our wide range capabilities a meeting is set where Abigail soon informs us that she’s been in the market for a quick and affordable house construction solution for a while but nothing she’s seen so far meets her expectation.
She tells us that due to budgetary constraints and the urgent nature of their need she doesn’t think the conventional construction model of brick and mortar would be suitable adding that the intended end users of the proposed 2-bedroom house would be her aging parents one of whom is disabled with movement limitations.
We carefully listen to the client noting key highlights of the discussion including construction of a ramp in all access areas for easy entry/exit using a wheel chair, guard rails in the washrooms, gable roof, water tower and pillars on which to rest the house. We also recommend doing complete domestic solar energy integration as one of our major expertise but she advises there’s an existing last mile power network near the proposed site that we can tap.
Our technical team then drives to the proposed site to ascertain project viability, analyze topography as well as gradient of the land to allow our designers come up with suitable layouts, BoQ and any necessary local authority approvals. A week later our report is ready, we have the nod to commence works.
1st April 2021 is the official start date of the project with scope being 2no. recycled 40ft shipping containers, one being converted into a spacious guest room, cloak room and master ensuite that is PWD compatible. The second 40ft container is to be converted into a large sitting lounge, spacious open plan kitchen with a breakfast table as well as a pantry. All round are large French windows for adequate natural light and cross ventilation.
All electrical supplies are to come from Green Planet, cabinetry from PG Bison a renown wooden boards manufacturer and our cabinets specialist for over five years, tiles are provided by Saj Ceramics a leading flooring solutions provider with close to 20 years’ experience serving real estate developments in Kenya and the region.
We also note the fact the geographical zone within which the proposed project sits is a vast high altitude semi-rural setting with year-round low temperatures that could mean lots of discomfort to the occupants, to counter this we incorporate best in class insulation technologies that significantly retains room temperature, the fluctuations in the external atmosphere notwithstanding. This means the house will now be as warm as any typical home.
Exactly eight weeks later the project is delivered in accordance with client specifications, on time and budget. The elderly couple, Ms Abigail, relatives even neighbors are all in utter surprise still not believing a simple shipping container can be converted into such a decent yet affordable alternative accommodation solution adding that they had never seen anything like it locally. They’re all mesmerized when our crane begins lowering the houses for installation on the ground.
Our grounds team especially receive accolades from local leadership who turn up in admiration of our innovative and disruptive concept which they say is yet the most relevant low-cost form of accommodation with the potential for mass roll out even at county levels for the millions with no homes, they go as far as pledging their support should we intend on penetrating the wider market under their leadership.The couple then insists on treating us to some tea in their new home as a show of satisfaction, gratitude and official possession/ownership.
The jubilation, excitement, song and dance that soon rent the air from all and sundry are forever etched in our memories, we had never seen such an overwhelming outpouring of joy in our close to six years’ experience. The escort by the villagers later that afternoon was honorable and humbling in equal measure, for a second we felt like celebrities.