INVESTIGATING THE EXTENT OF USE OF FERROCEMENT AS AN ALTERNATIVE BUILDING MATERIAL IN KENYA.

Abstract

 

Ferrocement construction technology is not well known throughout the world. Ferrocement, a thin element, is used as a building construction as well as a repair material. This study is intended to provide the reader with a sound basic knowledge of ferrocement and its potential and limitations in construction. It is assumed that those people using this document are already familiar with the construction using RCC. This study attempts to investigate the extent of use of the ferrocement in Kenya’s Construction industry as well as review the literature on ferrocement and bring out the salient features of construction, material properties and the special techniques of applying cement mortar on to the reinforcing mesh. This study brings out the importance of using ferrocement as an alternative building material to Reinforced Concrete (RCC), and also in the repair of old/ deteriorated RCC structures. Also discussed and done is this paper is the possibility of building structural components using ferrocement, waffles slabs and hollow poles are used as examples. The waffle slabs are constructed using fabricated formwork and cast with the appropriate mortar standards. The behaviour of the ferrocement waffle slab panels under flexural loading is studied thus investigating the strength properties of the material. The study also employs a field work survey and questionnaire to investigate the extent of use and knowledge of ferrocement in Kenya. The field study revealed lack of knowledge of ferrocement in Kenya. The recommendations of this study include addition of fibers in ferrocement to reduce crack-width. The researcher recommends that experimental investigations may be conducted on new reinforcing materials by researchers in the future. The study concludes that ferrocement will certainly be one of the best structural alternatives for RCC in the future. This study is considered preliminary and should be continually brought up to date as new advances are made in the technology of ferrocement. Most developing countries are faced with problems of poverty, low standards of living, environmental degradation and housing shortage. Ferrocement technology is seen as an environmentally friendly low cost technology as seen in the recommendations herein and should be extensively advertised as an alternative building material in Kenya.

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