Kenya sets up centres to market low cost building technology

National Housing Corporation engineers construct a sample EPS panels house in Nairobi. PHOTO/FILE
National Housing Corporation engineers construct a sample EPS panels house in Nairobi. PHOTO/FILE
The government is setting up low cost building technology centres in all constituencies in Kenya as it seeks to promote development of affordable housing in the country.

Sources familiar with the matter told the Construction Business Review that the planned technology centres will help the government to promote low cost housing and the use of location-specific building materials across the country.

Low cost building technologies such as expanded polystyrene technology (EPS), plastic panels and interlocking blocks could help boost supply of new houses to 200,000 units annually by next year.

Construction is under way for at least 50 centres, with the first centre in Movoko already being operational.

The facilities will be used to train developers on modern building technologies and to educate the communities on the benefits of new building technologies.

READ: Appropriate building technology takes off in Kenya

The centres will also be used to promote the National Housing Corporation’s  expanded polystyrene panels that promise to reduce the overall construction costs by about 20 per cent. 

READ: NHC announces Sh1bn housing plan

The government is planning to capitalise on hydraform technology to reduce the cost of building materials by half.

Imported from South Africa, the technology uses interlocking, hardened earthen blocks to minimise the use of cement and sand.

Players in the housing sector have welcomed the new technology saying it could address the current housing deficit and eliminate slums in major urban centres.

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