Short building time: New modern housing solutions

It is possible to build houses faster with resources and finances

In Summary
  • "A house that could be built in 3 months ,can now be built with half that time and be ready within 1 1/2 months."
  • "Interlocking blocks  are made from soil excavated used to make blocks which are compressed by the hydraform machine,"Korir says.

Example of Modern Housing
Example of Modern Housing

Building a house in a week or month could come as a shock and an impossibility to many.

However, with the new modern housing technology, this is very possible with the availability of resources and finances.

To get more information on modern housing technology, the Star interviewed an engineer from Hydraform Building Systems, Norman Korir. He shared insights on how to build faster and efficiently.

According to Korir gone are the days to wait long for your house to be built.

"A house that could be built in 3 months, can now be built within half that time and be ready within one-half months, "Korir said.

The interlocking block method is one of the modern housing solutions that his company uses.


"Interlocking blocks are made from soil excavated used to make blocks which are compressed by the hydraform machine," Korir says.

The process requires cement placed mostly for the 1st course only and the blocks are stacked all through.

Norman  Korir says this reduces the walling process and time spent.

"It reduces the cost of walling by 50 per cent, columns and beams are just put in place and a wall that could be done in 1 week can be done in 1 day, "Korir said.

"For example, during the Affordable Housing Village demonstration, a bedsitter was built in 6 days, any building that doesn't use mortar is faster  to build than the one that uses cement."

Some other  modern housing solutions are:

Prefabricated houses

A prefabricated building also known as prefab house is made in a factory.

Prefabrication is creating the building's structural components in factories and transporting them to the construction site. For example, Steel construction framing is fabricated at industry, transported to the site and erected.

Once on site, assembling of the structural components is done to construct the house fully.

Container houses

Container houses are one of the new housing solutions, where one can purchase an already used shipping container at the port and transport it to your location.

There are different sizes from 20 ft to 40 ft which could determine the size of rooms needed.

While choosing a container one has to check for the size, condition and previous usage, especially the type of goods transported.

Installation of a container house requires an already constructed foundation or pillars to allow the house to stand firmly, the container has to be cut for windows and doors and wood used for insulation.

Eco Panel

Eco panel is made up of 3-dimensional welded wire mesh with an expanded polystyrene core.

The panels are always built off-site as 2-dimensional construction elements that, once assembled, will define the overall volume of the house.

The panels are designed to create a complete construction element such as a wall, ceiling or roof already manufactured and cut to the desired shape and length in a factory.


Precast concrete is produced by moulding concrete in an often reusable mould.

Precast concrete elements can be connected to create a complete structure. Some structures made are such as floors, pipes, stairwells or even tunnels.

Making a component with precast construction takes longer. The parts are created in stages, with enough time for the mould to solidify completely.

Benefits of modern housing solutions

The expert says there are many benefits of the modern housing solutions:

The houses are affordable as they can be built fast with local materials.

Structural drawing allows one to know the number of floors and loads that a building should carry.

Disadvantages of modern housing solutions

However some disadvantages, the expert says are presented when building 1 house unit as it is more costly than mass houses. 

"Another challenge is local producers offering the houses at grassroot levels trying to save on cost. They don't have much knowledge of structural capacity and don't follow the right ratios, "Korir said.

Transport costs to rural areas can be high as the houses are mass-produced in urban areas.

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star