10.6.09

IBS News

UTM's Newly Develop FTW Technology Benefits Target Group

JOHOR BAHRU, May 26 (Bernama) -- The Fast-Track Wall (FTW) technology developed by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) that allows a house to be built faster and cheaper has started to benefit the public, especially the low-to-medium income groups.

Those already owning houses using the technology also expressed their satisfaction and were thankful to have the opportunity to live in a more comfortable house.

Bernama, on a recent visit to such houses in Kesang Laut and Sungai Abong in Muar, found that the owners of the houses were more than satisfied when the development of their houses were completed faster and at a cost much lower than conventional methods.

An F-class construction company manager, Shahrol Abu Samah, 35, said he was interested to try the technology to build two semi-detached houses after being recommended by a friend.

"This technology is amazing, I can say. My houses were completed in just 40 days and I only spent about RM50,000 to build two semi-detached homes. No wastage and I can save a lot," he said.

Meanwhile, Burhanuddin Sahabuddin, 29, who rented a house built using the same technology also said that the condition in the house was comfortable and cooler even during hot and sunny days.

"We hardly have to switch on the ceiling fan," he said.

Burhanuddin's view was shared by his wife, Dayang Iza Rozainah Nordin, 21, who said that even their eight-month-old infant, was comfortable with the cool condition of the house during a hot weather.

For a poor local family, a house built using the FTW technology donated to them has enabled them to enjoy a better life.

Abu Kassim Salleh, 46, and his wife, Normaidah Isnin, 36, both agreed that the house, that was completed in just 20 days, was highly durable and would not collapse easily.

The responsibility to build the houses using the FTW technology in Kesang Laut and Sungai Abong was entrusted by UTM to MYA Hitech Sdn Bhd.

Its managing director for construction, Mohd Arshad Ishak said the position of the roof and window panels not only enabled free air circulation but could also withstand strong tremors.

He said the wooden window panels installed one metre from the roof, and the inverted V-shape roof, combined the building methods for a traditional Malay house which emphasized on air circulation.

Using hollow steel frames and support as the mould, cement was then poured to make the fast-track walls, he said, adding that the house built using the technology would not crack easily as the cement was mixed according to a certain standard.

The FTW technology was developed by a group of 14 lecturers from the Architecture Department of UTM led by Prof Dr Muhd Zaimi Abdul Majid.

Dr Zaimi said the technology was designed to suit the Industrialised Building System, a building concept that emphasized on preparation of building components at the factory before they were taken to the construction site.

"We are combining the local technology and raw materials with German and South African technology to develop this new method.

"It's an innovative house building method based on the modular mould system using a combination of metal and plastic," he said.

Dr Zaimi said the cost to build an FTW house was just a fraction of the cost of the conventional one built using cement, sand and wood.

He said the single-storey house built using the FTW technology would be sold at RM25,000 for a two-room house and RM27,000 for a three-room house.

Next month, he said a housing developer in Sabah would start a project to build 102 units of semi-detached houses using the FTW technology, while the state government of Pahang, Sarawak and Kedah were also showing interest

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