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Construction Materials in Kenya: An Evolution

Construction materials in Kenya have gone through a complete revolution from the traditionally known basic types of building materials such as the mud and grass to bricks and now plastics and any other materials used in the present building industry.
Conventionally, mud was used for building mud walls for temporary structures used as shelters in most parts of the country. The houses which were built we made of mud walls with grass thatched roofs. In present Kenya, mud walls are still used with iron sheets to create semi-permanent houses. This is a common phenomenon in rural Kenya. Mud is also being used to fill spaces between bricks and acts as insulation.

Wood was also used as the main building material and is still used in such areas as central Kenya for house construction. This means that wood as a building material is still common, though they have greatly used in numbers with more and more people going for concrete buildings. In modern structures, wood is used for internal partitions; drywall partitioning, wall finishes and for ceilings.

Concrete is the main building in the present construction industry. It is a material made up of aggregate and cement.  It is used for nearly all types of construction projects. From simple houses to high rise residential flats, from commercial buildings to shopping malls, and road construction works.

Today there are different types of building materials that are being used. They include metal (steel), asbestos, fabrics and plastics. Metal as a building material is used for structural framework of larger buildings. Most of the materials used in the current world to construct different structures are of high quality yet quite expensive. This has led to the invention of another construction technology: Prefabricated technology.

The use of prefabricated technology helps to provide environmental friendly building materials at low costs. The concept of using prefabricated materials involves building parts being made in the factory and the ready-made building parts are then transported to the construction site. This has helped a lot in the construction of prefabricated houses where constructors only need carry to the site what they want to put up the house. 

Other types of structures using the prefabricated technology are the panelized homes, factory made homes where panels, walls with windows, doors, outside siding and wiring are transported to the building site for installation.

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