With skyrocketing prices of building materials, especially sand, cement, iron sheets, bricks and stones, developers are trying to look for the alternative materials to reduce the cost of construction.
One such approach is the use of interlocking bricks. Interlocking blocks are slowly gaining acceptance, with sector players saying they bring the cost down by up to 30 per cent, compared to conventional building bricks.
While still gaining acceptance, it’s not an entirely new idea with various people having tried, with varying rates of success, to offer alternative building materials.
And today, with the high rate of inflation and cost of imported construction materials such as steel has shot through the roof and it is time to ‘think outside the box’.
“Utilising available technologies such as the interlocking stabilised soil blocks and efficient house designs can shield one from feeling the inflationary pressure during construction,” says Francis Gichuhi, an architect.
The blocks can be made by manual press machines manufactured locally or motorised Hydraform ones, which are imported from South Africa.
The technology makes blocks faster as the curing process is not by firing as with the traditional method.
One advantage of the stabilised soil block presses is you can make your bricks as you build. Any soil with clay content of 25-35 per cent can be used. He says that if the clay content is more than 35 per cent, you will have to blend it with river sand.