As the demand for affordable housing among Kenyans continues to rise, builders are increasingly embracing various types of building technology as a means to cut construction costs. Kenyans who have used the new technologies have cited massive reduction of construction costs with some using half the cost of normal balding methods.
1. Interlocking Blocks
According to constriction experts, use of interlocking blocks to construct houses in Kenya is rising because they reduce the cost of construction by more than 20%. The price ranges between Ksh 20 and Ksh65 for each interlocking block.Assuming you are building a three-bedroom house within Nairobi, this is the amount you will spend on interlocking blocks: A three-bedroom house will take average of 4,000 blocks, which means that for Ksh25 per block, the total cost of blocks will be Ksh100,000.
When building using interlocking blocks, no cement, or sand will be required in walling except at the lintels .
2. Precast flat panel modules
Precast concrete technique is an off-site building method in which foundations are pre-engineered and manufactured in a factory before being transported the construction site. Precast flat panel modules are walls and floor components produced by casting concrete in reusable mould or “form” that is cured in a factory and then transported to the actual construction site for installation.
The technology which is also known as cross-wall construction is becoming very popular among many builders due to its seamless adherence to building specifications, ease of installation as well as swiftness of construction.In recent years, expanded polystyrene is being used as the cores to precast wall panels to produce light weight structures that offer better thermal insulation.
As one of the most popular types of building technology, precast concrete construction allows construction to progress even in bad weather. It is fast to assemble in that a house can be complete in few days . It cuts timelines while reducing site disruptions and the overall cost of construction.
3.) Thin joint masonry technique
Thin joint construction is a building technology that replaces the conventional 10mm cement mortar joints with 3mm joints that use adhesive mortar. ‘Gluing’ blocks together enhances productivity while cutting the construction timelines. It also helps to minimise material wastage – which results in significant cost reduction.
Besides, curing of mortar takes place quickly without weakening bonding strength, resulting in the elimination of floating problem. This technique accounts for up to 90% of masonry work in Europe.
4.) Flat roof and flat slab technology
Flat roof technology helps in reduction of costs on roofing . It takes less timber , iron sheets and is easy to construct hence also cheap in labor.On the other hand flat slab technology utilizes flat slabs (reinforced concrete slab held directly by concrete columns without the use of beams) to facilitate easy and quick insertion of horizontal features and for partitioning of buildings.
Flat slab technique is easily one of the quickest construction methods available. It also helps to significantly cut down labour costs by reducing reinforcement requirements.
5. Insulating concrete formwork (ICF) technique
Insulating concrete formwork (ICF) is a construction technique that utilises lightweight and hollow insulation forms that fit together like giant Lego pieces to create a wall framework.
The structure is then filled with high quality concrete, which cures inside the ICFs to become a high-strength structure with remarkable sound and thermal insulation.ICF structures offer huge savings in terms of construction timelines and labour, as well as the reduced need for skilled workers. They can be installed in wet conditions enabling early waterproofing of houses.
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