Firm offers cheap way to construct a house

FANCY building a bungalow in Penang for RM40,000? A 62-year-old entrepreneur has come up with a creative way of building a single-storey house using aerated lightweight concrete with fire and heat resistance features. 

Ali Omar, who is the technical director of Sara Bata Sdn Bhd, the company that produces the concrete, said the technology enabled the house to keep cool inside despite the hot weather. 

“The lightweight concrete has been tested by Sirim and Univer-siti Industri Selangor’s faculty of engineering.  

“It costs RM40,000 to construct a house with a built-up area of 74 sq m. Although this does not include the land cost, it is still considered cheap to own a bungalow for that amount,” he added. 

Ali said the fire resistance feature would enable the owner of the lightweight concrete house to have up to two hours to escape or salvage their belongings before the arrival of firemen. 

Simple home:A view from inside the three-bedroom house which is built with Sarabata bricks at IKS Perda in Simpang Ampat.

“The concrete has a density of between 700kg and 900kg per metre cube compared to other types of concrete with a density of 2,400kg metre cube. The concrete is lighter and will float in water,” he added. 

He said usage of the concrete could help developers cut building costs by between 20% and 30%.  

Assoc Prof Ir Muhidin Arifin from the university’s engineering faculty said he was now conducting laboratory tests on the con-crete.  

“Our initial findings show that the concrete is durable, light and highly recommended for the housing industry.”  

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