Modern prefabrication: An efficient, sustainable solution for affordable housing construction

Mika Reunanen, Area Sales Director at Elematic.

While in-roads into the supply of affordable housing in Kenya have been made, there is still a long way to go in the delivery of the quantity of housing required. This, coupled with the requirement to be cost effective, is where prefabricated walls, floors, frames and foundations can offer as much as a 30% saving on material usage among other benefits.

Rapid population growth in cities makes it a big challenge to keep up with the huge demand for good quality housing, services and infrastructure.

Typical demands set for builders in rapidly expanding cities are manifold:

  • Cost pressure, need for affordable housing
  • Pressure to use local raw materials
  • Constant, controlled quality
  • Safety at work sites

In addition to these, demands for sustainable, environmentally friendly ways of working are increasing.

Prefabrication is the answer

Yes, it is possible: Building lively neighborhoods with affordable, comfortable homes while still fulfilling quality, cost and safety requirements set for the construction. This can be done by using factory-prefabrication, i.e. precast building technology. With prefabrication, it is possible to build an apartment building, city block or entire neighborhood in a third of the time needed with traditional methods. You can use local raw materials and workers but save a lot in material consumption as up to 30% less steel, cement and concrete are needed.

“Prefabricated concrete in the construction industry has been around since the 1960s. Based on ready-made factory-manufactured modules and smart connections, it offers many positives such as reduced costs, design efficiencies, housing longevity, a reduction in time and materials as well as greater safety on site. All in all, it is a smart and industrialized way to produce cost-efficient buildings”, says Mika Reunanen, Area Sales Director at Elematic.

Prefabrication also opens a myriad of possibilities for spatial planning of urban environments and makes it possible to manage even mega housing projects with highly competitive costs and schedules. When pre-stressed hollow-core slab system is applied, the span in residential buildings can be 6 to 12 meters and only exterior walls can be the load-bearing components.  Modern prefabrication also significantly cuts the number of structural walls required in the building and therefore decreases costs of construction.

Lasting, safe and sustainable

Prefabricated concrete is fire proof, rot proof and rust proof. “When prefabricated concrete walls, floors and other parts are used, the structures need no chemical treatment thereby eliminating fumes.  Termites, rats, mice and other vermin will not threaten it, as they do with more traditional building materials, as the components make it inedible”, Reunanen sheds light on further advantages.

The Kenyan Government is committed to ensuring every citizen has access to affordable housing. The plan is to build around 500,000 houses for this sector by the end of 2022. It’s a big challenge to solve.

Elematic can provide a part of the solution

“We believe that prefabrication is an efficient way forward towards quickly solving the enormous housing demand. With prefabrication, expanding cities can provide people with affordable housing where they can learn, live and grow in a healthy community,” says Reunanen.

Elematic production technology

Elematic is a one-stop supplier of prefabricated concrete production technology with over 3,600 deliveries worldwide. The company does not only supply complete plants but also single machines and comprehensive support in the application of the precast method to building construction. Modern plants for prefabricated concrete are scaled to meet the need. The same production line allows the manufacture of precast products from affordable to high-end housing, as well as for factories and office complexes.

Recent projects supported with Elematic technologies

  • Naya Raipur, India – 4,000 housing units
  • Bismayah New City Project, Iraq – 100,000 housing units
  • Arabian Ranches, UAE – 1,041 Villas
Elematic Oyj

Elematic Oyj is a world-leading manufacturer of precast concrete plants and production lines. In our 60 years of operation, we have supplied technology to over 100 countries and to every continent. Turnover is approximately 60 million euros, of which exports generate 95%, and the company employs roughly 300 people.

Elematic has subsidiaries and sales offices in the USA, Germany, China, Russia, India, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates, and agents in over 20 countries. The company headquarters is located in Akaa, Finland, and its production units are in Finland and India.

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