Estonian modular home producer exports houses for refugees to Germany
Estonian producer of prefab houses Akso-Haus OÜ has exported more than 60 buildings intended for refugees to Germany, significantly expanding production and hiring 40 additional staff as a result.
These first modular homes are in fact actually a trial batch, and the company’s goals are considerably greater, board member Andres Samarüütel told BNS. “Our aim is to sell a couple thousand buildings for refugees in Europe, including schools and childcare centers,” he explained. “Negotiations are in progress, but there are no contracts yet.”
A modular home for refugees is an average of 24 square meters, or 256 square feet, in size, and comprises of living quarters, a kitchen facility and a shower compartment. Samarüütel is currently in Germany to inspect the first houses to be installed and inspect how things work. “If necessary, we’ll make adjustments and give advice,” he said.
Building houses for refugees in Europe, beginning in Germany, represents a significant opportunity for all Estonian manufacturers of wooden houses, said Samarüütel, explaining that it is a big market that should still have enough room [for new firms].
Since the refugee crisis began, Akso-Haus has significantly increased its production capacity, investing 2.5 million euros into its expansion. The company has moved from a 3,500 square meter (38,000 square foot) production facility to one 10,000 square meters (108,000 square feet) in size, and is renting a second one of the same size as well.
“Furthermore, we already have 100 employees and plan to hire another 100 in the near future,” noted the board member.
Akso-Haus, which is based in Iru, just east of Tallinn, and owned by Grato Holding OÜ, more than quadrupled its revenue to 5.4 million euros, making a profit of over 158,000 euros during the previous business year.