Housing sector

A chinese firm already to opened a Sh3billion precast concrete factory in Kitengela, a technology that promises to cut the cost of building a house by 20 percent.

The precast concrete building solutions will help reduce the cost of homes by 20 percent upwards depending on the size and location and also offer  solution to Sh1.4billion lost annually through collapsed buildings.

This is in refence to the communication below.

Nairobi, March 2015: A Chinese firm based in Nairobi, Boleyn Magic Wall Panel Limited (BMWP), has today announced its readiness to introduce precast concrete building solutions in the country after the completion of its Sh3billion modern precast housing factory in Kitengela along Namanga Road.

The factory with a production capacity of 20, 000 units of houses annually will start selling its products from May 2015 and provides part of the technology the ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development has approved to help bridge the current gap in the supply and demand of housing. The precast technology is also expected to reduce the cost of homes by 20 percent and above will as well provide homes for low and middle income segment of the housing market.

Speaking during the signing of a sponsorship agreement for the incoming 21st Kenya Homes Expo, BMWP Managing Director, Mr. Jack Liu said the precast concrete building solution is not only a precursor for lowering the cost of homes but also a step in the right direction in taming substandard construction that lead to occasional collapsing of buildings in the country.

“Our factory will manufacture products like wall panels, half slab, hollow core slab for flooring and roofing, columns, pressurised beams, road barriers, railway sleepers, highway and bridge double T beams and staircases,” said Liu adding on that since precast concrete is manufactured in a controlled casting environment it is easier to control the mix, placement, and curing hence the quality of the construction can be controlled and monitored much more easily than in site cast concrete.

“Since a precaster can buy materials for multiple projects, quantity discounts can lower costs hence the estimated reduction in cost of homes,” added Liu.

According to Daniel Ojijo, CEO Homes Universal Limited, the precast solutions reduce construction period and labour by up to 60 percent and overall capital investment by over 4 percent.

“This is a blessing for many developers who are grappling with the long time it takes to finish the construction of their projects as the precast slabs only require assembling at the site which can take 8 days to fully complete a two bedroom house,” said Ojijo.

The technology can be used to construct high rise apartments, standalone houses, large scale housing units like those needed for the police and army, schools, churches and others according to Mr.Ojijo.

BMWP will first showcase the precast concrete solutions to the public at the incoming edition of the Kenya Homes Expo slated for 16th to 19th of April 2015 at KICC.

“We are optimistic that many Kenyans will adopt this technology as it is affordable and as well create better quality products compared with cast-on-site concrete. Additionally, precast concrete is strong to resists impact, blasts and natural catastrophes like earthquakes, tornadoes and floods better than cast-on-site concrete,” said Mr.Liu.

Precast wall panels or floor/roofing slabs is a construction product produced by casting concrete on a steel pallet in workshop which is then cured in a controlled chamber, transported to the construction site and lifted into place for installation.

The precast building solution has been widely applied in Europe for the last 100 years and in the Middle East for over 30 years now and it’s said to be the current international construction trend likely to face out convention building systems.

According to Liu, if widely adopted, the precast walls will help Kenya reduce losses incurred through collapsed buildings estimated to be worth Sh1.4 billion a year.

BMWP has recruited and trained about 100 Kenyans to help run the Kitengela factory and will create employment for about 500 others before end of 2015.


Authored by Nathaniel Ndegwa

Published by John Baraka


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