(UPM, Paso de los Toros, 20 May 2022) – UPM has agreed to transfer 100 family homes, assigned to the municipalities of Durazno and Tacuarembó, to the Ministry of Housing and Territorial Planning (MVOT). The agreement event was attended by Irene Moreira, Minister of MVOT and the Mayors of Durazno and Tacuarembó, Carmelo Vidalín and Wilson Ezquerra, together with UPM representatives.
“Today the signing of this agreement has become a reality in which 500 modules will be transformed into 100 homes for Uruguayan families, who will see the unattainable dream of having their own house. One hundred homes that meet all the quality standards established here at the Ministry. I am deeply grateful to UPM, which has understood us perfectly and has worked hand in hand with the Ministry to achieve this, which demonstrates a very important social responsibility,” said Irene Moreira, Minister of Housing and Territorial Planning.
The minister also added: “In the first quarter of next year we will be inaugurating these homes in Tacuarembó and Durazno. We are all working together with one main objective, which is to provide housing for our beloved people.”
For Gonzalo Giambruno, Project Manager at UPM, “The way temporary accommodations were planned and executed made it possible to achieve positive integration of construction workers in the region. Once the work is completed, this modality guarantees us an orderly demobilization, and through this agreement also allows us to generate permanent quality housing solutions for Durazno and Tacuarembó.”
Benefits beyond the new mill installation project
In addition to UPM’s USD 2 million investment in modular housing units, two sites with full infrastructure in Durazno and Tacuarembó – designed to accommodate the new mill’s construction workers – will be re-used once the temporary housing sites are cleared. Another nine sites have infrastructure improvements and will be transferred to the state once the mill project is completed.
Properties where the housing for workers is currently located have recreational and leisure areas such as barbecue grills, sports fields and common areas. They also feature access to optical fibre, power lines, lighting, sewage and a modern drinking water reservoir and pressurization system.
The design of large-scale projects such as UPM's, which require comprehensive detailed planning, allows for the creation of permanent benefits for the surrounding communities by identifying opportunities during the execution phase. In this case, even during the implementation of the labour demobilization plan, permanent housing solutions are created for Uruguayan families.
Competitive construction models that strengthen the domestic industry
The construction costs and times associated with this concept are very competitive. For example, it requires 15%–30% of the construction time compared to build a traditional house, and it is possible to build four finished houses in one week. It also offers great flexibility in terms of production and transportation.
Knowledge gained from the temporary housing project for more than 5,000 workers allowed for advantages in infrastructure developments through the application of non-traditional technology. These developments create new possibilities in terms of permanent housing construction and growth of small and medium-sized domestic companies.
Thanks to these characteristics, this type of solution can be implemented anywhere in the country, developing both industry and national employment.