Over 100 pre-fab homes exported under 1000+ modular timber project

Under the 1000-plus modular timber project launched earlier this year, DuraVilla Homes has exported over 100 pre-fab houses to Barbados and St Vincent. This was according to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DuraVilla, Rafeek Khan during a recent interview with Guyana Times.
Khan shared that the company ships these homes monthly to various countries and some have already been constructed and are awaiting shipment.
“To date, I’m pleased to say we would have shipped in excess of 100 homes. We would have shipped actually about 105 homes, we have in our factory 20 more homes and these homes are going to Barbados and St Vincent, this is where the contract first started with our company to produce a home for export. We’ve been shipping homes monthly,” Khan stated.

The modular timber homes produced by DuraVilla Homes Guyana

However, he shared that when the project was first launched in February, the company faced some challenges in terms of mobilising as quickly as it wanted to.
“When we launched the 1000 homes, it has been somewhat of a challenge in terms of mobilising as quickly as we wanted to. The homes are confirmed for Barbados and have been produced and 50 homes for St Vincent [of the 50] majority have been shipped.”
During the launch of the project in February, Khan underscored that the housing demand in the Region has been growing rapidly, and consequently can lead to Guyana doubling its exports by the end of the year.
The Government of Barbados had put in an order for 100 homes to be shipped while the Governments of St Vincent and the Grenadines and Guyana have already put in orders and a delegation from Grenada visited the country to gauge the prospects of the product.
These houses, when sent to other countries, are built to meet the respective building code regulations, and to withstand disasters such as hurricanes.
“The housing demand in the Region, and even right here in Guyana, is a God-sized vision…I think our consumers’ tastes have been changing in the building systems in Guyana. I ask that consumers reconsider timber. Timber is not exploited to the point that you don’t want to use it. I hear people saying commonly that we’re overharvesting timber in Guyana, but less than one per cent of our forest is allocated to the production of timber products,” Khan expressed.
He further noted that exports can double by the end of this year through support from not just the Government, but small loggers. Last year, Guyana exported over US$34 million in timber.
“We could double Guyana’s exports by the time we close this year by US$60 million, and I would like to challenge us to do this together… Export is where we need to go to get the better value for the products that we are promoting,” he said.
The company can produce one home per day but is building capacity to construct a minimum of four homes per day.
Minister within the Housing Ministry, Susan Rodrigues has stated that the Government has been directly supporting to bring this project into fruition.
“With the private sector being the engine of growth, and having these ideas and promoting our locally made products, I assure you that you have that similar support from Government. Use this project as that demonstration of our support for the private sector.”
This project is expected to bring housing solutions for the Caribbean Region and is also expected to hike Guyana’s export earnings. (Tassia Dickenson)