How to reduce cost of construction in Kenya.
A Holistic approach whereby all the elements of a building, namely foundation, walling, roof, window/door, finishes and external works/services needs to be involved. A small amount of savings can be obtained in each of these elements so as to ensure a conclusive eventual savings.
When these elements are optimized, up to 40% of the construction cost can be saved.
Careful analysis should be carried out to ensure that the type of foundation chosen will ensure a savings.
Grounds vary in type. There are specific foundations for marshy grounds, red,black ,murram soils etc.
Once a survey is carried out, it’s possible to obtain between 5 to 10% of savings from this choice.
A proper analysis on the type of walling required should be carried out between the client and architect . There are various choices such as zero jointed walling, machine cut walling, glass, SIP Panel, wood , Stabilized soil block depending on the desired outcome.
A 5% savings can be derived from here.
Type of roof frame, surface area of roof and type of roof cover can be used to reduce cost.
A 5% savings can be achieved here.
Windows, doors and Finishes.
Creative interiors such as full glass windows, unplastered walls, patterned cloth ceilings, wooden/offcut wall stickings, mazeras wall renderings etc can create savings.
Up to 10% of construction costs can be obtained here.
External works and services.
Use of masonry wall pillars instead of reinforced concrete for fence, well designed septic tanks and well designed gates can lead to approximately 5% of savings.
In total , up to 40% of construction cost can be achieved in each of the various classes of construction i.e. low, middle or high class construction cost. Careful floor planning that reduces wasted space in the building also goes a long way in ensuring savings.
Francis Gichuhi Kamau, Architect.