TIPS TO REDUCE COST OF CONSTRUCTING BUILDINGS IN KENYA
|From DIAMOND HOUSE FLAT ROOF|
The Diamond house plan design is inspired by the Botswana Diamonds and was designed by www.a4architect.com to offer the most efficient housing solutions to the people of Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
The Diamond House is made of materials readily available in every hardware shop in Kenya. The efficiency is attained through unique architectural design and construction technology.
The walls are made of the usual masonry quarry stone or interlocking stabilized soil blocks,roofs made of the usual iron sheets, doors from the usual wood door Kenyan manufacturers and window frames from the usual aluminum/Louvre systems.
|From HAITI HOUSE FLAT ROOF|
Building materials costs keep rising day by day as the cost of production increases.
This necessitates for developers to think outside the box to reduce the cost of construction.
The Diamond House Plan comes with all these efficient ‘GREEN ARCHITECTURE’ cost saving measures incorporated in the design.
www.a4architect.com uses several methods to attain maximum efficiency through architectural design intervention.
These methods are as follows:
Use of unique building technology for foundation:
New technology whereby reinforced concrete use is minimized and replaced by masonry stone saves a lot of costs. This method is only suitable for low-rise buildings such as bungalows.
For high-rise structures, careful structural design is utilized so as to have the most optimum foundation design type to ensure less material is excavated.
Use of locally manufactured finishes.
www.a4architect.com specifies material finishes from products that are made locally. In most cases, locally manufactured products are cheaper than their imported counterparts since their transport costs are not as huge and they do not come with import duty.
Such local product alternatives are as follows:
• ‘Mazeras’ slate stone floor finishes instead of imported ceramic tiles.
• uPVC in replacement of steel casement windows.
• Local Block board and TnG doors in replacement of imported mdf doors.
• Locally produced paints.
• Clay brick roof tiles instead of steel ’mabati’ tiles.
Such materials are best used together with other local materials to enhance their aesthetic appeal. For example, Mazeras floor tiles can be patterned together with clay brick tiles to come up with an exciting design.
See picture below .
Use of innovative Architectural design.
Architectural designs that reduce the wastage in terms of unnecessary circulation space are utilized to bring the cost of construction down.
Corridor spaces are reduced and doors are placed at the most optimum location to ensure that all space within the house is fully utilized. This saves the developer from constructing unnecessary space that will increase the cost of construction.
Use of architectural design that reduces the amount of roof truss that is used to support the roof material is also important.
The house is designed such that the room walls extend upwards to support the roof truss hence reducing the amount of timber required for roofing.
Use of windows that extend from wall top to bottom also helps reduce the overall cost of construction in that glass is cheaper than wall including finishes. Glass costs approximately KES 1,000 per square meter while the wall costs approximately KES 1,000 per square meter plus plaster of approximately KES 350 per square meter plus painting of approximately KES 300 per square meter. This totals to around KES 1,650 per square meter.
There are many methods that www.a4architect.com employ to reduce the overall construction cost of a house. These are best brought out through the design process to actual construction project management.
Architect Francis Gichuhi Kamau.
Registered Architect. Kenya.