THE MOST EFFICIENT HOUSE IN KENYA. DIAMOND HOUSE PLAN

THE MOST EFFICIENT HOUSE IN KENYA. DIAMOND HOUSE PLAN

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INTRODUCTION

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

The most efficient house to construct is the Diamond House plan designed by www.a4architect.com.

HAITI HOUSE PLAN

Research undertaken over several years in Kenya shows that the highest efficiency in construction in Kenya can only be achieved through utilizing the designs outlined in the Diamond House Plan model.

The Diamond House plan model can achieve lows of between KES 10,000 to KES 15,000 per square meter [KES 450,000 – KES 650,000 for the 2 bedroom house].

DIAMOND HOUSE PITCHED ROOF VERSION

PHASED CONSTRUCTION
The house is designed to be constructed in phases with the first phase being 45m2 consisting of living room, kitchenette, bathroom and two small bedrooms. The other phase has been designed to easily merge with the first phase to make it a 3 or 4 bed roomed house as the house owner requires.
Whether it’s for use as a family home, holiday home or as a rentable unit in your backyard, the Diamond House plan surely meets your needs by offering the best value for your money.

From A4ARCHITECT HAITI/DIAMOND HOUSE

COST COMPARISON TO OTHER AVAILABLE OPTIONS

The other low cost method currently used in Kenya is Mabati housing which is estimated at KES 15,000 per square meter[KES 675,000 for a 2 bed roomed house] and SIP Prefabricated housing which is estimated at a minimum of KES 25,000 per square meter[KES1,100,000 for a 2 bed roomed house] .

DIAMOND HOUSE FLAT ROOF VERSION

The normal traditional house of the same size also costs approximately KES 1,100,000 to construct.

ASCERTAINMENT OF COSTS

These estimates can be ascertained by using the following methods:
1. Visit the nearest Local Authority planning department and inquire on the average cost of construction.
2. Google for suppliers of prefabricated houses and call to inquire on cost per square meter.
3. Google for Building and construction contractors and call to inquire on cost of constructing a basic house per square meter.

The Diamond House plan manages to reduce costs due to the following factors:

FLOOR PLAN DESIGN

The floor plan is designed such that there is no wastage of space by the rooms by unnecessary corridors. Doors are also placed in the most optimum location to maximize the use of room space. This enables the house to offer a lot of usable space within a small plinth area.

LOCAL MATERIALS

Use of local materials for construction also helps to keep the overall costs very low. These materials are available in every hardware shop in Kenya at a low cost.
There is a very minimal usage of imported materials.
The foundation is made using locally produced quarry stone.
The walls are made using locally produced masonry stones.
The roof is made using Mabati.
The doors and door frames are made using locally produced materials.
The paints specified are locally produced.
Only the basic necessities such as aluminum window frames and glass are imported from China. 99%of the materials are local.

USE OF LOCALLY AVAILABLE SKILL AND LABOUR

Use of locally available skill and labor helps in reducing the labor costs. The building construction technology used is the day-to-day method that fundis all over Kenya use to construct stone houses.
The difference is in the design in that in the Diamond House Plan design, the same materials are arranged differently e.g use of masonry stone ground floor slab instead of use of concrete slab, use of internal stone walling partition to support roof as opposed to using expensive wooden trusses, use of unplastered internal walls as opposed to plastered and painted internal walls e.t.c. Makiga Engineering’s stabilized soil blocks can come in handy for this type of construction.

CONCLUSION

The major parts of a building that are responsible to high construction costs are Foundation, Roofing and internal Finishes. The Diamond House plan has managed to address all these factors to come up with a very efficient house design.

The average house is broken down as follows:

Foundation-20% of total construction cost
Roofing: 20% of total construction cost.
Internal finishes: 20% of total construction cost.
Walling,Doors,windows,fixtures,septic tank,wiring,plumbing:40% of total construction cost.

Therefore, if the foundation, roofing and internal finishes representing 60% of construction cost ,are designed well, then massive construction cost savings can be achieved.

To obtain the Diamond House plans, click here for further explanation and cost breakdown.

Architect Francis Gichuhi Kamau.

Registered Architect.
info@a4architect.com
www.a4architect.com
+254721410684

CURRENT CONSTRUCTION COST RATES
http://ujenzibora.com/nahinga/?p=1203

Francis Gichuhi (692 Posts)

Architect Francis Gichuhi . B.Arch. University of Nairobi. Registered Architect, Kenya. Member, Architectural Association of Kenya. Contacts. email info@a4architect.com. Telephone +254721410684


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  5 comments for “THE MOST EFFICIENT HOUSE IN KENYA. DIAMOND HOUSE PLAN

  1. Tony Gallacher
    September 3, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Dear Frank,

    regarding the use of stabilised soil blocks as you have noted above, I understand that there are Building Code restrictions on areas where ths type of construction can be used? could you please advise on such restrictions. Also, if I am not making the blocks myself, what is the market availability of manufactured blocks?
    thanks

    Tony

    • frank
      September 3, 2011 at 1:57 pm

      All building plans in Kenya are required to be prepared by a registered architect for approval by the local authority as per the building code.
      The architect should check with the respective local authority since the bye-laws are different form one county to the other. Generally, there are no such restrictions as long as the blocks are not used for foundations.
      I can give you contacts for people who have the machines to prepare the blocks then they can give you a quotation.
      Call me on 0721410684.
      Regards,

  2. Tony Gallacher
    September 3, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Thanks Frank, I will call during the week: We are looking at constructing a weekend place for the family in Magumu, Rift Valley. As we are not in the country at the moment, we were going to develop the concept design ourselves and then engage a local architect such as yourself to finalise it and obtain the approvals. Have you experience of the use of stabilised soil blocks and are they appropriate for the climate at Magumu, which sees frost in winter as well as its share of rains?
    regards

    Tony

    • frank
      September 4, 2011 at 8:00 am

      Hi Tony.
      Welcome.Thats ok with me. We can work with your initial concepts as proposed. Stabilised soil blocks can be used in rainy areas as long as the external facades are water-proofed using clear varnish or plastered.
      Lenana school residential blocks at Nairobi was constructed in 1949 using stabilised soil blocks plastered on both sides and the buildings still stand strong to date.

  3. a
    June 20, 2014 at 4:10 am

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