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Transforming chattels into smart homes

- Thursday 19, May 2016 -

From The Jamaica Gleaner:

IT SEEMS like just yesterday when the majority of Jamaicans lived in chattel homes or ‘board houses’.

Most people back then who lived in these homes were considered the poorer class; children were stigmatized; brought friends only part way, and then ran home and back to meet up with them, ashamed of their board house. Children prayed for a job to take themselves and parents into concrete homes to break that curse.

Today, that is the least of our problems, as there are so many challenges facing our country and the world at large. The effect of global warming and its rapid effect on the built environment has caused world leaders to examine with alacrity a country’s triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) in order to mitigate against the effect on the ozone layer, meet the demand of housing stock, and balance a country’s budget. Mind you, this might not be the panacea to cure this problem. However, it is a step in a direction towards a conscious lifestyle, bringing us back to basics – energy efficient, chattel or board houses.

The world’s number one energy-efficient house or smart house, certified as net-zero energy efficient house, was built from timber and other renewable resources. We here in Jamaica are just as conscious of this thrust as evidenced in our new Government adding climate change to its ministerial portfolio.

We, therefore, can safely conclude that when searching for a house to purchase, the type of structure is just as important as its location. And as we say in the business of real estate: location, location, location.

Doreen Buchanan, JP, MRICS, MSc, in Real Estate,
CEO of Azanell Properties Int’l.
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