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Property

Four in one

Released at: 23:07, 05/11/2014

Four in one

An S-House is a cheap yet safe from of housing for residents in the Mekong Delta and, perhaps, elsewhere.

by Minh Tuyet

Famous for his green architecture innovations, Mr Vo Trong Nghia has now prioritised sustainability in his S-House project for low income earners in Mekong Delta provinces. S-House dwellings, which cost just $4,000, are built with four “S” features: sustainable, safe, steel, and solar energy.

Sustainable for people

Sustainability is the most important criteria of an S-House, Mr Nghia emphasised. Low income earners in Mekong Delta provinces typically live in makeshift houses that have a life span of five years or so and need constant time-consuming and expensive repairs. Such issues are overcome when quality Japanese steel is used instead, which lasts for at least 30 years. Moreover, the steel construction of an S-House can resist Force 15 storms and even earthquakes without sustaining major damage. 

Energy problems are also solved in the S-House design. Due to natural conditions it’s not feasible to extend electricity supply to some areas of the Delta, making solar energy, a feature on an S-House, a great solution. Living costs can be cut dramatically if people utilise natural resources and energies in this way, Mr Nghia said.

Suitable for the environment

An S-House, of 28 square metres, weighs about 1,000 kilograms, is box-shaped, and can safely be placed on a weak land surface, which is a major disadvantage in the Mekong Delta. It can also be placed on an artificial hill to make it safe during the flood season. The use of steel is a far better option than bricks, which crack when the land weakens. And heat from the steel is not an issue, as the rooftop is made from insulated materials.  

Each single component of an S-house is less than 100 kilograms, making transport by boat quite simple and presenting few difficulties in assembly and disassembly; factors considered during the development process, Mr Nghia said.

He hopes to cut outlays for users by minimising construction costs while maximising the useable area. An S-House has a simple construction method where only 50 screws need to be tightened, and with pillars outside the house the useable area is greater.

The initial purpose of the S-House project was provide a housing option for low income earners in the Mekong Delta, but the houses can also solve problems relating to poor land surfaces as well as floods and storms. Mr Nghia therefore plans to develop the project in other countries that regular suffer from storms and earthquakes, such the Philippines and Pakistan or even some African countries. To expand his business he plans to cooperate with a Japanese company in Tokyo.

Facts & Figures

$1.4 billion will be invested by Samsung Electronics to build an electronics facility at Ho Chi Minh City’s Saigon Hi-Tech Park. The new Samsung CE Complex will feature the research, development, and production of hi-tech consumer electronics products and equipment.

$120 million was invested by Hong Kong’s Haputex Development Limited and the Viet Huong Investment Development JSC to build a textile factory in southern Binh Duong province on an area of 12 ha to produce 36 million metres of fabric per year when operations start in late 2015. 

$109.52 million has come from the Hoa Sen Group to build a steel sheet factory at the Nam Can Industrial Zone in north-central Nghe An province, which is expected to be completed in August 2018. The factory will create jobs for about 500 workers once operational.

$60 million was invested by the Japan-based Daibiru Corporation to buy the Cornerstone Building in Hanoi. Cornerstone was built by VIB Ngo Gia Tu, a joint venture between Vietnam International Bank and the Ngo Gia Tu Company.

$53 million in a project to help Vietnam develop an eco-industrial park model was officially put to work by the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the United Nations’ Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The three-year project will be implemented in all three regions of the country - Hanoi and Ninh Binh in the north, Da Nang in the central region, and Can Tho in the south. 

$37 million was invested by Nestle to build a production facility in the southern province of Dong Nai’s Amata Industrial Zone. The facility is dedicated to meeting the growing demand for MILO RTD (Ready-To-Drink) products in Vietnam. 

$18 million has been invested by the Ariston Thermo Group to open the Ariston Academy at its manufacturing plant in northern Bac Ninh province’s Tien Son Industrial Park. As the first in-house training facility established in Vietnam the academy aims to promote the quality of human resources in the country’s heating industry.

$14 million was invested by Nippon Paint Vietnam to build its third plant, in northern Vinh Phuc province. The plant plans to support the needs of the domestic automobile and motorcycle manufacturing industry and enlarge production to encompass coil coating, general industrial-use coating, heavy-duty coating, and other coating types.

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