Six shipping containers, loaded with pallets of Omni Block, will arrive in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia early April. The Omni Block units will be used to construct the country’s first Omni Block house. The units were produced by Raul De Lille Basulto, owner of Predeco, Mérida, México. Predeco runs a V3-12 Vibrapac, under contract for Omni Block de México. Negotiations are currently underway with block plants in the Middle East so that Omni Block can be produced close to Riyadh.
Omni Block founder, Denny Miller, will be in Riyadh overseeing construction of the 3200-square foot prototype home. He’s looking forward to demonstrating how Omni Block utilizes the combination of exposed thermal mass and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) insulation to provide thermally efficient buildings in the Saudi Arabian climate; where daytime temperatures are extremely high and are much cooler during the night.
Beyond providing a comfortable interior building environment the insulated walls of Omni Block create an attractive reinforced structure for the same cost as traditional uninsulated post and beam construction. Omni Block’s unique block design facilitates quick construction, the ability for all utilities to run within the walls, and eliminates the need to saw-cut units to size since they are completely modular.
Omni Block has gained the attention of the Kingdom Ministry of Saudi Arabia. The Ministry recognizes the importance of energy efficiency and last November “welcomed” Omni Block to Saudi Arabia. Omni Block has been selected for construction of homes in a planned housing development. Each home is 250 square meters (2691 sq ft).
Approximately three thousand Omni Block units will be required to construct each home. Since the home design and Omni Block are completely modular, no cutting will be needed to make the units fit, which will save construction time, reduce expense and eliminate waste.
An article published by Reuters on 7 March 2017 discusses the need for housing:
“Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Housing has set up a 98 million Riyal ($26 million US) partnership with a private developer (Al-Tahaluf) to build what amounts to 1000’s of houses. It is the ministry’s first public-private partnership and could become a model for the Kingdom’s future home construction plans, which aim to make home ownership more accessible for Saudis.
The Kingdom is struggling to meet demand for homes due to its young and growing population of some 21 million nationals, while also cutting back on its traditionally generous public spending, after a sharp fall in oil prices since 2014.
The Kingdom Ministry will hold 13.63 percent in the new venture with Al-Tahaluf Real Estate Company, which is jointly owned by Saudi Arabia’s Hamad bin Mohammad bin Saedan Real Estate Investment Group and U.S.-based builder Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. The joint venture also involves building 426 duplex units and 36 single home villas priced between 530,000 and 590,000 Riyals ($141,000-$157,000 U.S.) all designed by the Netherlands’ Studio, Piet Boon, of international notoriety.
The Kingdom Ministry plans to issue tenders for 100,000 units in 2017 as part of its housing initiative, Naif Abdulmouhsin Al-Rasheed, an adviser to the Minister, told Reuters.The Kingdom said it aimed to raise the proportion of Saudis owning homes by 5 percentage points to 52 percent by 2020 and outlined plans to attract foreign and local developers to build 1.5 million homes over the next seven or eight years.
The government has also signed a memoranda of understanding with China, South Korea and a Saudi-South Korean consortium to cooperate in building hundreds of thousands of homes in al-Ahsa and northern Riyadh.”
Besser Company is the exclusive global manufacturer of Omni Block molds and mold parts, regardless of the brand of the machine, and is excited to be involved in this unique opportunity.