How to Build a 85sq Metre 2-Bedroom Bungalow for as Little as 3m in Just 14 Days.



It is everyone’s dream to one day own a house but the price of putting up a house in Kenya is on steep rise.  In Nairobi or Thika for instance, the price of a two bedroom house ranges averagely between Ksh. 4,000,000 and Ksh. 9,000,000 depending on the location of the houses, whether in low, middle or high income areas.

This is one factor that is leaving so many people without homes to call their own. In these tough economic times, every prospective homeowner is looking for ways to lower construction costs.
Ideally, anyone who wants to build a house would want to know, as close as possible, the expected expenditure for the project. Another aspect is the wish to see the project work finished at a minimum cost compatible with satisfactory materials, workmanship and time. Thus, the cost of the project will have to be designed in accordance to architectural design and technological innovations until the decision of final product is made.

New technologies such as the Prefab Technology is slowly taking shape in Kenya. Prefabricated or Modular building is now being considered as a crucial technology in addressing housing shortage in Kenya and reducing the time taken to build a house while lowering the costs by about 30%.

The Prefabs are usually constructed in factories in standard sections and then transported and assembled on-site. The prefabricated panel materials are usually made of fibre cement and galvanized steel that are mainly imported from abroad.

The innovative technology uses walls made of fibre cement boards which are bullet proof up to 9mm and fire proof up to 800 degrees Celsius. These walls are made of cement, stone and glue chemical for strength. The windows are double glass or glazing for high insulation. As the structure is fully protected and the material is not bio-degradable the life span is greater than conventional Construction.



 This technology significantly reduces construction time as it utilizes unwelded galvanized steel structures that act as the framework upon which covering fabric are made of fibre cement.

In 2014, a Malaysian company, Koto Housing Limited, built a high quality 3-bedroomed house in Kenya within 14 days. The firm has adopted the expandable polystyrene (EPS) technology with only eight workers on board.
Eliminating cost of transporting building materials which accounts to about 60% of the overall building costs, translates into huge savings.

In the Koto building system, the house construction project starts just like the traditional building but since the wall panels are usually light in weight, the foundation is not dug several metres deep. They use what they refer to ‘Raft Foundation’ where the house rests on a large base (raft) that prevents it from cracking due to shifting of the ground. The raft offers huge surface area which helps to distribute the weight evenly to avoid overstretching any particular area of the structure.

Once the foundation is laid, the columns are placed after which the prefab slabs measuring 1.2 X 1.8m are fixed into place. The slabs are made of foam and have holes that are filled with concrete for reinforcement. This is done after they are placed on the superstructure.

A bungalow will cost as little as Ksh 3 million for a 85sq metre 2-bedroom unit to about 6.3m for a 170sq metre 3-bedroom unit when you construct using this technology.
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