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[VIDEO]NHC Reveals Cost and Time Implications for Building Using EPS Technology in Kenya

NHC workers construct a sample expanded polystyrene panels house on Aga Khan Walk on June 14, 2013 as the MD, Wachira Njuguna (centre), and the chairman, Isaac Mogaka (right), look on

NHC workers construct a sample expanded polystyrene panels house on Aga Khan Walk on June 14, 2013 as the MD, Wachira Njuguna (centre), and the chairman, Isaac Mogaka (right), looks on

Urban population in Kenya is rapidly growing posing a major challenge in housing that has seen majority of urban inhabitants reside in informal settlement commonly known as slums. With a deficit of 250,000 thousand housing units per annum, a new building technology in Kenya known as Expanded Polystyrene Panel EPS technology is expected to turn around construction industry.

The technology that uses cheaper materials compared to conventional stones and yet strong enough to withstand bullet and grenade attacks, is no doubt good news to both individual and real estate investors. { Kenya Broadcasting Corporation}

From the interview, it is revealed the size of the panel is 1.5 Metres by 3.0 Metres and costs Kshs. 5,000.00 at the Factory.

This translates to a cost of Kshs. 1,111.11 per Square Metre + Transport Costs + Cost of Concrete Plasterwork.

Substitute for Building Stones

“The panels act as a substitute for building stones and timber, guaranteeing better quality finished products that have thermal insulation and are environmentally friendly,” Mr Njuguna said.

It is estimated that a two bed-room unit built with the technology would cost Sh700,000 before finishing, about half of the cost when using bricks and timber. National Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich allocated National Housing Corporation Sh1.2 billion for the construction of more than 2,000 housing units. The National Housing Corporation plans to construct at least 50 houses in each county, starting with police quarters, in the coming financial year.{ Business Daily}

Comparison of prices

For Comparison purposes, the indicative cost of other related walling materials for a typical 200mm Thick Wall is as follows:

  1. Natural Quarry Stone – Kshs. 1,550.00 per square metre
  2. Machine dressed “Ruiru” stone – Kshs. 1,900.00 per square metre
  3. Solid Concrete Block Walling – Kshs.  2,400.00 per square metre
  4. Brickwork – Kshs. 1,600.00 per square metre
  5. Partition (Stramit plain board) {50mm Thick)- Kshs. 2,400 per square metre
  6. Stramit board veneered with Mahogany – Kshs. 6,000 per square metre
  7. Stabilized Soil Blocks (SSBs) – Kshs. 1,100 per Square Metre
  8. Hollow Pre-Cast Blocks (200mm Thick) – Kshs. 950 per square metre

In making a decision on what material one has to use, consider transport costs, finishes and labour to be engaged.

As a general rule, any composite walling material like Gypsum boards (Internal partitions) or the EPS Technology, takes less time to erect hence leading to additional cost savings on labour and time.

A worker applies plaster on a house in Mavoko. The panel technology can reduce the cost of building a house by upto 20 per cent

A worker applies plaster on a house in Mavoko. The panel technology can reduce the cost of building a house by upto 20 per cent

-UJENZIBORA

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