Unitrade rolls out affordable modular houses for construction sector

Each set of Unitrade’s modular houses could fit 130 workers’ capacity and it only takes up 198.75 sqm of floor area


UNITRADE Industries Bhd is expanding its rental services with the addition of modular houses to the construction sector and entities that are looking to build on-site workers’ accommodations and centralised labour quarter.

Its ED Simson Sim Xian Zhi said many companies have been struggling to meet the necessary guidelines in a cost-effective manner since the enforcement of the amended Act 446.

“Compared to before, construction players now require more conventional cabins and on-site floor areas to house the same number of workers.

“With our double-storey modular houses, we could potentially disrupt the market as they take up smaller floor space, thus cost less on a per headcount basis,” he said in a statement to the local bourse today.

The modular houses, which comply with Act 446, could also be implemented as site offices, canteens, clinics and laundry rooms.

In September 2020, the government amended Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446) which required a minimum bedroom space of three sqm for each employee as dormitories for all sectors.

According to Simson, each set of Unitrade’s modular houses could fit 130 workers’ capacity and it only takes up 198.75 sqm of floor area compared to conventional cabins that occupy more than double the space at 448.00 sqm for the same capacity.

“Beyond the affordability and space-efficiency, we believe our rental model has an added edge, particular to small and medium-sized contractors who wish to minimise capital expenditure,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Unitrade has secured orders for about 2,000 workers to rent out its modular houses.

“Currently, we are in discussion with several commercial customers to house a further 4,000 workers,” he added.

The group is also expecting a higher influx of workers and stronger demand for its modular houses in the months ahead as Indonesia lifted the ban on sending its workers.

“As we grow this rental division, our recurring revenue stream will also improve, giving us better earnings visibility and long-term stability,” he said.

He also views the group’s business-to-business modular houses is synergistic to the building materials wholesaling business as it improves Unitrade’s service comprehensiveness among construction sector clients.