Precast technology: How to build a house in 8 days

Workers assemble a precast wall of an apartment.
Workers assemble a precast wall of an apartment. PHOTO/COURTESY
As Kenya grapples with chronic housing shortage, developers are increasingly turning to new technologies that promise to speed up construction projects.

Precast concrete, which is slowly gaining a foothold in the Kenyan market, is one such technology.

Precast concrete technology makes it possible for a builder to put up a house in just eight days – without compromising on safety.

Precast concrete is made by casting concrete on a steel pallet in a workshop and curing it in a regulated curing chamber before shipping it to a construction site for installation.

It is considered a safer and more durable option than some of the traditional methods that are still widely used.

Some of the main advantages of precast technology include speed of construction, cost-saving and durability. Using this technology, a builder can save up to 90 per cent of the time taken to put up a similar project using conventional construction methods, while saving costs by up to 30 per cent.

The growing demand and acceptance of modern construction technology among local developers has lured a Chinese investor into the Kenyan real estate market.

READ: Chinese firm unveils Kitengela precast housing plant

Boleyn Magic Wall Panel Limited is building a precast housing plant in Kitengela, Kajiado County, from where it will produce wall panels, hollow-core slabs for flooring/roofing, columns and prestressed beams.

“The precast elements will be applied in construction of apartments, villas, office buildings, shopping malls, schools, hospitals and highway bridges,” said Jack Liu, BMWP managing director.

The factory, which will launch its operations next month, has annual production capacity of 50,000 housing units and will employ over 200 people.