On Thursday the 20th of May 2010 Imison™ was announced as overall winner of the ABSA Bank International Innovative Housing and Sustainable Energy Efficiency Competition. In addition to being awarded the evening’s highest honour – Affordable Housing Category for Innovative Housing, edging out 18 other building technologies, Imison™ under the leadership of Fred Weitsz also bagged two 3rd place prizes for Energy Efficiency, one award each for the BNG and Affordable Categories. In addition to South African companies, international participants came from countries such as Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Kuwait and Namibia.
This competition was launched in March 2009 and physical construction commenced in Wellington, Drakenstein Municipality in the Western Cape at the end of that year.
The objective with the competition was explore creativity and innovation in the construction of houses together with energy efficiency and was run in partnership with the Home Builders Registration Council), NHFC (National Housing Finance Corporation), AFD (Agence Franciase De Development and Drakenstein Municipality. Mr Luthando Vutula, Managing Executive for Absa Home Loans said at the time, “Conventional brick and mortar construction will be excluded so as to stimulate creative and viable alternative building designs of high standard housing solutions that can be financed, in primary and secondary markets.”
The guidelines for the competition were – technology alternative to brick/mortar – and the assessment criteria were:
- Architectural quality of housing products
- Cost effectiveness and value for money
- Rapid construction
- Energy efficiency
- The approval of energy products for finance
- Social acceptance of innovative housing (The community will be invited to participate in the social acceptance including independent, industry specialists)
- Bank acceptability and finance for innovative housing designs