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Transforming the built industry through EPS technology

Opinion

In recent years, the construction industry in Kenya has seen a significant shift towards innovative building technologies. One such technology that is making waves in the sector is Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) building technology. EPS, a lightweight and versatile material, is revolutionizing the construction landscape in Kenya by offering sustainable, cost-effective, and efficient building solution

EPS is widely used in the construction industry due to its excellent thermal insulation properties, ease of installation, and durability. In Kenya, where the demand for affordable and environmentally friendly housing solutions is on the rise, EPS technology presents a viable alternative to traditional construction methods.

According to a report by the National Construction Authority (NCA) in Kenya, the adoption of EPS technology has been steadily increasing, with more developers and contractors incorporating EPS into their projects.

One of the key advantages of EPS building technology is its energy efficiency. Buildings constructed using EPS panels have superior thermal performance, reducing the need for artificial heating and cooling systems, case in point the National Housing Corporation’s Changamwe and Voi projects.

This not only leads to cost savings for homeowners but also contributes to lower carbon emissions, making EPS a sustainable choice for environmentally conscious builders.

Moreover, EPS is known for its versatility and design flexibility. The lightweight nature of EPS panels allows for faster construction times, leading to overall cost reductions and increased productivity on construction sites. Additionally, EPS is a durable material that offers excellent resistance to moisture and mold, ensuring the longevity of buildings constructed using this technology.

While EPS building technology offers numerous benefits, there are also challenges that need to be addressed for its widespread adoption. One of the main concerns is the lack of awareness and technical expertise among builders and architects regarding the use of EPS in construction. This is where the Government agencies like the National Housing Corporation (NHC), which has a functioning EPS plant should come in and offer trainings to as many technical people as possible. This is the only way the technology can be appreciated by a majority of Kenyans.

Education and training programs are essential to equip professionals with the knowledge and skills required to effectively implement EPS technology in their projects.

Furthermore, the availability of high-quality EPS materials and the establishment of standards and regulations for EPS construction are crucial for ensuring the safety and structural integrity of buildings. Collaboration between Government bodies, industry stakeholders and educational institutions is key to overcoming these challenges and promoting the growth of EPS technology in the Kenyan construction sector.

As the demand for affordable and sustainable housing solutions continues to grow in Kenya, EPS building technology holds immense promise for transforming the built environment. With its energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and design flexibility, EPS has the potential to dominate the alternative building technology market in the country.

By investing in research and development, promoting capacity building programs, and fostering partnerships between public and private sectors, NHC can harness the full potential of EPS technology and pave the way for a more sustainable and resilient built environment.

In this harsh economic realities and high cost of building materials, the Expanded Polystyrene building technology is reshaping the construction industry in Kenya by offering innovative solutions to the challenges of affordability, sustainability and efficiency. With its numerous advantages and the increasing recognition of its potential, EPS technology is poised to become a dominant force in the alternative building technology market.

By addressing existing challenges, fostering collaboration, and promoting awareness, Kenya can embrace EPS technology as a catalyst for positive change in the built environment, leading to a more sustainable and prosperous future for the country.

The writer is a journalist and strategic communication consultant

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