The provision of affordable housing fully modernized with state of art facilities is a major challenge to both private developers and the government. In the quest to achieve such modern accommodation using inadequate equipment and housing financing, we discuss on how to come up with such.
The major causes of high building cost have been identified as use of expensive material, lack of necessary guidelines in selection of appropriate building and construction equipment.
HOW CAN WE THEN REDUCE THE BUILDING COSTS WITHOUT COMPROMISING ITS QUALITY IN TERMS OF STRUCTURE STABILITY BY EMPLOYING SUSTAINABLE AND AFFORDABLE TECHNOLOGY?
The entire housing/accommodation or/and construction industry is at a conjugation point, similar to the transition from landline telephony to cellular technology. Digital technologies are taking over the homes and the real estate industry at large, providing new opportunities to address the challenges of poor profitability/productivity and long payback periods; project performance, skilled manpower shortages, and sustainability issues. Digitization of the construction industry is not a question of if or when—the changes are happening now.
The industrialization of construction and the application of certified building technology and best practices will help companies get reliable results and improve margins. Digitization will increase productivity, eliminate waste, and mitigate the bad effects of on-site surprises.
Digitization will change most everything, including the competitors and the blockages to entry. The end result: a more productive and profitable industry that builds more sustainable assets. Construction companies must take steps now to join the digital future and stay ahead of the competition—or risk being left behind.
Firstly, we have modern means, the electronic processing and distribution of building plans and permits for the same champions by the National Construction Authority (NCA) and the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK). This plays a crucial role of getting rid of or reducing delays that arise with physical motions from say the construction sites to the distribution centers.
Automated plan checking systems in an instance where the plan inspection and approvals are all executed by computerized programs.
These days, we have public information sites on the web. Technology being a prime factor in housing and even accommodation, we have recent and rapid websites or portals that deliver information on trends, tips and products in the sector.
In a modernized system of construction, we can have the PRECAST BUILDING COMPONENTS. These can be architecturally used as trim products, curtain walls, cladding and even fireplace mantels. Precast materials gives manufacturers a wide range of engineered earth retaining systems. These shall not only save time, but also finances for property developers for example Koto Housing Kenya Limited.
INTERLOCKING STABILIZED SOIL BLOCKS is another modern trend in construction. These are blocks from compressed soil, whose nature of easy availability, low cost and eco friendliness makes it an ultimate alternative to conventional building methods. They need less mortar and can be dry-stacked. Its uniformity also fastens the laying and building process. They are, to the advantage of builders, labour intensive.
We also recently developed the use of EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE (EPS) in the place of conventional stones. EPS foam is usually placed between wire meshes which is sealed by concrete on either sides. These are easier to transport due to their relatively light nature. They contain vermin which has no nutritional value, saving a building from rodent and termite attacks.
ICT in Real Estate
Information Communication Technology has been employed in: Construction site surveying, Real Estate projects and Property management using ICT (Lease, Inventory and tenancy record management), Remote controlled access controls (Biometric house locks, RFID access control cards for Apartment gate pass and accommodation room access, Property valuation software. It is now rare to find an apartment without CCTV cameras, High mount Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning equipment.
Advertisements also play key roles in influencing trends. Housing stakeholders are able to learn from such, get objective information and work on areas that need improvement. An example of such is the www.haofinder.com web.
The Author is an ICT consultant, Innovator, Creative writer and a Digital Marketing help hand at CaptainTeknics Solutions