The Many Downsides of Building in a Mad Rush


The Chavernment’s housing program, Gran Mision Vivienda Venezuela is still going full throttle, but its path has been rocky: damage to the enviroment, workplace accidents and workers mad as hell about pay that’s always two months late.

Now, another complication: the quality of many of the buildings may be deficient, according to the head of UCV’s Architecture Faculty, Gustavo Izaguirre.

In an interview with El Nacional, Izaguirre mentions that some GMVV buildings use the Forsa Construction System, a method that saves time by using formwork made of aluminum (as a “mold” that is used to later place the concrete). The quality of other materials and possible violations of safety regulations have been reported as well.

Some GMVV housing has already shown deficiencies: strong winds literally blew off part of some apartments in the Ciudad Caribia housing complex in June, just two months after it was opened. (See the photo above.)

Unfortunately, these safety concerns won’t slow down the house-building frenzy. Election time is getting closer and those still without house are getting more restless, something the Chavernment has decided to deal with in its own way.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


  1. “Nosotros estamos 100% con el presidente Chávez y no nos merecíamos que nos trataran así.”

    Where to begin when reading a comment like that? Disociados…

  2. Gustavo,

    Your interpretation of Izaguirre’s interview is off base. The Forsa formwork system does not remain as part of the building. “Formwork” is only the “mold” that is used to place the concrete.

    However, the essence remains: These buildings are being built with shoddy materials and poor workmanship with little to no quality control. They are cutting every corner there is to put them up as fast as they can, with the result that they are unsafe and unsustainable. Most will probably be abandoned in a short period of time and will need to be demolished.

    Billions more of Venezuela’s treasure misspent by Chavismo…

    • I admit that I’m no construction expert. Thanks for clearing that up and my apologies to Mr. Izaguirre. The article has been duly corrected.

      • No problem, Gustavo.

        Just as a side note, over the course of my career, I have read thousands of articles by laymen that totally misunderstand construction, a subject in which I am knowledgeable. It make me wonder how many articles written about other subjects in which I do not have expertise contain the same level of misconception, and how much my understanding of those subjects has been misinformed by those same articles.

          • No need for that, Gustavo. Construction and construction related professions and industries are the occupation of a very small percentage of the total population. No one can know everything. But, you may have missed my point, which is simply to wonder how much bad information on ALL subjects is being repeated and disseminated daily by ALL of us.

  3. Look at the location- totally unsuitable. I mean where is some space and built in a flood plain obviously- next to an overgrown field. No space to breathe.

    If that house had been located on a safe ground this would not have happened. Nobody
    should be so stupid as to build in that location.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here