By ALPHONSE BARIASI
PRIME Minister James Marape and a several other government and business leaders have been invited to unveil three modular homes built by Atlas Steel PNG at the company’s Port Moresby factory and operations site in Baruni next week.
With a growing need for family housing, more Papua New Guinean families are weighing their options for style and affordability, Atlas Steel is offering three, four and five bedroom homes that are suitable to PNG conditions.
Designed with PNG conditions in mind, the houses are manufactured here in PNG using steel from New Zealand and Australia.
The houses are built from light weight steel framing with all external roof and wall covering also made from quality Colourbond sheeting. Fitted kitchens, windows and doors are also manufactured here in PNG from a mixture of PNG hardwoods and imported aluminium fittings. Flooring options are either compressed fibre cement (CFC) or PNG hardwood and these are covered with the latest designs of ceramic tiles or PVC vinyl coverings, dependent on your tastes and budget.
“Our message is that Papua New Guineans need not look overseas to import materials when looking at purchasing a home,” says Atlas Steel Port Moresby branch manager Peter Browne.
The obvious advantages of steel as opposed to other materials is its durability, light weight, easy assembly and installation, and strength to withstand natural forces such as wind and earthquakes. Steel is also termite-proof and will not rot in our tropical climate. There is no need for ongoing, expensive termite treatments.
Atlas Steel introduced steel framed kit housing to PNG in 2004; they were the pioneers in developing this system.
After the system was successfully introduced to the Port Moresby market, a mirror image of this operation was set up at our company’s Lae branch.
Specialised roll forming machines where purchased and imported from New Zealand and Australia.
Atlas Steel PNG invested over K40 million to set up this new system.
The National Government quickly realised the benefits of steel framed housing as many government buildings and houses built from traditional products where deteriorating fast in our tropical climate, causing unnecessary expense in replacing the building.
Steel housing has an indefinite life span if it is cared for.
The Government commissioned Atlas Steel PNG to supply and build over 125 houses for the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary in the highlands provinces, such as Pai and Poroma police barracks in Hela, Kerowagi police barracks in Chimbu and Koim police barracks in Southern Highlands.
Browne says: “The success of these houses has given the Police department homes that have lasted the test of time.”
He says these same houses withstood the large earthquake that hit the highlands region in February 2018, whilst other houses in the same locations collapsed to the ground.
“Our houses are engineered to withstand earthquakes and cyclonic winds.
“This is testament to the structural integrity and quality of our house models.”
Three housing models
The company’s research and development design team have developed three main house models that have sold many hundreds throughout PNG.
The modesl are the HS40 three-bedroom house of 40m2 floor area, HS60 three-bedroom house of 60m2 floor area and the HS90 three, four or five-bedroom house of 90m2. All are available as high set, low set or on slab. The most popular by far are the high set houses.
At present, Atlas Steel housing prices range from K99,000 for a three bedroomed 40m2 high set house to K285,000 for a four bedroomed, 90m2 high set house. Prices exclude construction costs.
“Today we are supplying not only these three popular house models but many other designs. The benefit of our design system is that we can custom-design based on your ideas and create and cost and supply this model to you. Once you are happy with the design, we can then proceed to a cost estimating and then building,” Browne says.
“Our exciting show home village built at our Baruni factory will officially open at the end of February 2020. Customers are welcome to come and experience a walk through each of the house so they can see exactly what they are getting for their money.
“We have options to supply a basic kit or a full kit. Our basic kit is the supply of the steel componentry only which allows you to purchase your own internal fit outs and finishes. Our full kit option includes steel componentry, internal fit outs and hardware materials which allows you to fast track consolidation of materials for construction.
“The full kit takes away the worry, frustration and effort in sourcing materials, we are a one stop shop.
“We will work with you, from the time of purchase right up to when you are moving in to occupy the house.”
Introduction to modular homes
According to research, one of the most frustrating matters for a new home owner is actually building the house after purchasing the kit. Sourcing the right builder is sometimes harder thanfinancing the house.
“Atlas Steel PNG is working on a brand new initiative, where we fully build a house for you at our factory, we then take it apart and transport it in modules to be re-constructed at site,” Browne says.
“This will speed up the process of constructing a house by cutting down average construction time of 14 to 16 weeks to 2 to 3 weeks,” Browne adds.
All Atlas Steel designs and buildings are checked and certified by local independent structural engineers and are passed as structurally sound.
“This gives you peace of mind when you purchase a quality house from Atlas Steel PNG.”
Atlas Steel PNG history
Atlas Steel PNG – the largest steel manufacturer and distributor in PNG – has been a vital part of country’s development for over 30 years.
“We do not just sell steel; we provide an advice and support service to steel users, ranging from companies delivering multi-million kina projects, to small local contractors, and a wide range of reseller businesses,” the company says.
Atlas Steel is part of Kenmore Group of Companies, which is one of the largest and most diverse groups in PNG with over 1,400 staff and sales in excess of K430 million annually.
Today’s Kenmore Group resulted from the merger in 1991 of two similarly diverse groups, the original Kenmore Group of Companies and Dylup Group of Companies.
Currently the Kenmore Group has operations in Port Moresby, Lae, Mount Hagen, Tari and Kokopo.
Over 93 per cent of their company’s work force are PNG Citizens.
Apart from housing, Atlas Steel PNG has so far also supplied the following buildings throughout PNG:
- Three complete technical colleges with multiple classroom structures.
- Approximately 450 various structures including double classrooms for Digicel Foundation.
- Approximately 50 classrooms and other structures for OK Tedi Development Foundation.
- Double and single storey classrooms for ExxonMobil PNG Ltd.
- Many double storey classrooms to individual private schools.
- Multiple church buildings, administrative buildings, accommodation dormitories.