Bill Gates Fund invests in global firm Vantem and boosts its growth in Uruguay

A innovative modular construction model created by the vantem companyconquered the attention and millions of Breakthrough Energy Fundfounded by the businessman and philanthropist Bill Gates.

Specifically, the fund decided to invest in the vantem global matrixlocated in USA to encourage a global expansion that includes a new plant of the subsidiary in Uruguay.

Behind this decision is the construction system of modular homes that Uruguay helped develop, based on panels with a patented design. “These sandwich an insulating layer between two structural panels of material,” he explained. Humberto Moreiradirector of Uruguay.

Vantem Uruguay. The company will invest US$ 30 million for the construction of its new plant in Barros Blancos, Canelones. (Photo: Juan Nin)

The investment of Breakthrough Energy (fund created to combat climate change and in which they also participate Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, Richard Branson and Kleiner Perkins) in Vantem, will have an impact in Uruguay. The local subsidiary will receive part of that amount (the figure is reserved), and together with other investments, it will capture US$ 30 million that will go to the new plant located in White Clays, Cannelloni.

Until 2021, Vantem operated in a space of 3,500 square meters (m2). Since January, and after executing the first part of the amount, they moved to the new location of 13,500 m2, and they already plan to add another 12,000 m2.

The local firm, with 50% US and 50% Uruguayan capital, began operating in Uruguay in 2017, and its first works date back to 2018. To date, it totals nearly 250,000 m2 built, among which the modular hotel for the company UPM.

Vantem Uruguay. With its new plant, the company will be able to assemble up to 50 homes per month in the same place. (Photo: Juan Nin)

With the new facilities, the company goes one step further and its system of construction of panels adds the assembly of houses by modules in the plant itselfwith which they will be able to generate “zero emission” homes.

According to Moreira, the Vantem panels are four times more efficient in terms of energy consumption due to their greater thermal insulation. Innovation is in its walls. They are two cementitious plates (similar to concrete) inside which the insulating material is placed, he said. Meanwhile, by doing 95% of the production inside the factory (assembling the house with the furniture and painting) and then moving it to the final place, the process is made “more efficient, reduces the impact of the carbon footprint by a 75% and 50% the construction period. “This means that, for the same quality of housing, costs drop between 25% and 30%,” he estimated.

Moreira highlighted that the resulting buildings are affordable, energy efficient and capable of withstanding hurricanes, earthquakes and forest fires. And with the addition of solar panels they can be zero emissions.

Houses of Vantem Uruguay
Houses of Vantem Uruguay. Due to its innovative system, the houses it builds cost 30% less than traditional systems)

Today, the plant can produce between 10 and 15 houses per month. In the second half of the year they will execute the second phase of the investment to automate production with new machinery from the US «The goal for 2024 is to reach a productive capacity of 50 homes per month and employ 200 people directly», he indicated.

This will allow them to expand their markets and reach the south of Brazil, Argentina Y Paraguay.

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Bill Gates Fund invests in global firm Vantem and boosts its growth in Uruguay