Prefabricated houses also known as manufactured homes are gradually becoming a trend in the Kenya’s construction industry, the new technology is slowly whipping out the conventional construction mainly in the development of residential homes.
Modular/Prefab homes are built indoors in a factory/workshop setting. The finished panels are transported to the client’s construction location, where the builder assembles them.
Boleyn Magic wall panel (BMWP) explains how prefab houses are developed into homes.
“The construction process starts when the prospective homeowners understand the building concept,” Says Mr. Jack Liu Managing Director BMWP.
After the client is fully aware what are modular houses the builder now goes ahead and present various designs that they have done before and also allows the client to present his/her desired house. When the customer and the builder have agreed upon the house the panels are made at the workshop, as the homeowner prepares the foundation, the builder can also construct the foundation, it all depends on the agreement.
Although modular homes are widely accepted in the developed countries such as US, UK, China, etc. Mr. Liu intimates there is a great need to create awareness in the market as people may be deceived by unscrupulous people in the industry.
Precast housing uses restressed steel strands and dry concrete c-50, saving concrete 40% and reinforcement 60%. Installation of the panel takes 9 hours’ floor, no form work and scaffolding and plastering.
“The new technology brings innovation into the construction industry. This reduces the risk of buildings collapsing, lowers building cost and increases development efficiency,” explains Liu.
The precast building technology is suitable for building up to 7-floors high, “Our projects have a lifespan of at least 400 years” adds Mr. Liu.
Construction of a 3-bedroom house takes at most two weeks and will cost at most Ksh2.6million, while 2-bedroom house cost at most ksh 2 million, cost saving is between 38%-45% depending on client’s requisition.
Prefab homes are popular in many nations due to; faster buying time, feasibility and the capacity to move anytime regardless of the owner’s reason.
Benefits of Prefab Houses
Today’s modern prefab is moving in a different direction as the builders are more concerned about its sustainability, being environmentally friendly and green in all aspects of productions.
Assembling of the house is not affected by the weather which translates to increase in work efficiency and there is no damage to building materials such as the sand and construction bricks.
Less waste. With the same plans being continually built the manufacturer has a record of exactly what materials are needed for a given job. While waste from the site-built dwelling may typically fill a large ships, construction of a modular home generates unsubstantial waste.
An environmental hobnob development procedure. Modular construction minimizes waste in the construction site compared to site-built structures.
Adaptability. The traditional building can be hard to extend without dismantling part of the house; the modular home allows room for an extension as most of the assembled parts can be reassembled in a different style.
Great builds. Modular homes are constructed in a factory or a workshop thus the materials are stored indoors in a controlled environment, annihilate the risk of mildew, mold, rust and solar damage that can often lead to human respiratory problems.
However, this form of construction is faced with a fair share of challenges; the transitioning process, many Kenyans have been used to conventional building, thus believe that it’s the only way of coming up with a durable house.
The future of Modular homes.
Prefab homes are becoming popular in Kenya and also across Africa, as they are relatively less expensive when compared to many existing homes on the market. Since 2015 BMWP has reported an increase in the interested homeowners and also institutions which are willing to pursue prefab housing. Mr. Liu relates the case as the quest to have better housing option in a limited time, He further says that clients also avoid dealing with dubious contractors who siphon money during the construction period contrary to modular construction where the owner can easily monitor the progress of the construction.
The competition is vast; that’s why modern architects are experimenting with prefabrication as a means to deliver well-designed and mass produced modern homes. This involves forgoing referential decoration and instead feature clean lines and open floor plans.