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Tajikistan Plans to Produce Modular Buildings

A solution to resolve quickly the housing crisis


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DUSHANBE (Asia-Plus) — Tajikistan intends to arrange production of modular houses. According to the State Committee on Investment and State-owned Property Management (GosKomInvest), a relevant agreement on that subject will be signed on the sidelines of the 2015 Dushanbe International Business Forum that will take place here on October 14.

Modular buildings may be used for long-term, temporary or permanent facilities, such as construction camps, schools and classrooms, civilian and military housing, and industrial facilities. Modular buildings are used in remote and rural areas where conventional construction may not be reasonable or possible.

Representatives of Tajik President’s Executive Office have recently visited the State Enterprise Kubanskiy Modulny Dom (Kuban Modular Building) in Russia’s Krasnodar Krai to get acquainted with technologies of construction of modern, power-efficient, ecological, solid and cheap dwelling.

Modular buildings are often priced lower than their site-built counterparts, for a variety of reasons, especially the speed of construction and faster return on investment. The materials used in modular homes are the same as site constructed homes. Wood-frame floors, walls and roof are the most typical. Some modular homes include brick or stone exteriors, granite counters and steeply pitched roofs. All modulars are designed to sit on a perimeter foundation or basement.

Housing crisis

The International Organization for Migration notes that, on average, purchasing an apartment is the third highest priority of those working in Russia, other CIS, or near abroad countries. There is also real fear that with extremely limited supply, property prices will keep going up and the value of money going down. Furthermore, a lack of locally produced construction material makes the cost of building new apartments more expensive as well.

The period during the civil war and immediately after the signing of the peace accord, when one could buy an apartment in the centre of Dushanbe for as little as $1500, is long passed. With a booming population of over 7 mln, demand for real estate is extremely high in Tajikistan since, apart from an elite group of buildings, no major noteworthy construction has been completed. With a strong shortage of supply of space as well as a lack of business centres and attractive hotels, foreign and local companies tend to rent private apartments for offices.

To add to this, the administration of Dushanbe city started the implementation and realization of the GenPlan, which had been put forward in the 1980s with a view to creating additional housing opportunities in the capital for the growing population. As a result, Dushanbe is divided into three circles: central, suburban, and periphery, where the central circle would include multiple story buildings for offices and business class apartments. It is this central territory that is to be freed for construction. Those having houses, gardens, land, or other type of property in the circle are to be compensated and given land in the periphery for building houses of two or more stories. Getting land in exchange for property in the central circle is not guaranteed, however, and is conditional upon legally occupying the given territories.

Currently, the demand for Soviet-time apartments that are priced in this value range remains very high. Due to the large demand and shortage of supply, even prices for Soviet khrushchevkas are accelerating hastily, in anticipation of the government coming up with some kind of alternative ways to purchase property.

Modular building to accelerate construction

Modular buildings and modular homes are sectional prefabricated buildings, or houses, that consist of multiple sections called modules. “Modular” is a method of construction differing from other methods (e.g. “stick-built” and other methods such as off-site construction). The modules are six sided boxes constructed in an exterior (sometimes, remote) facility, then delivered to their intended site of use. Using a crane, the modules are set onto the building’s foundation and joined together to make a single building. The modules can be placed side-by-side, end-to-end, or stacked, allowing a wide variety of configurations and styles in the building layout.

Whilst there are many advantages to all forms of modular buildings, there can be limitations also:

  • Volumetric: Transporting the completed modular building sections take up a lot of space. This is balanced with the speed of construction once arrived on site.
  • Flexibility: Due to transport and sometimes manufacturing restrictions, module size can be limited, affecting room sizes. Panelised forms and flat pack versions can provide easier shipment, and most manufacturers have flexibility in their processes to cope with the majority of size requirements.

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