How durable will government-built home for Kelvin Kiptum stand?

©State Department for Housing and Urban Development

ATHLETICS How durable will government-built home for Kelvin Kiptum stand?

Festus Chuma 20:47 - 23.02.2024

Kenyans have been intrigued by the rapid, innovative construction of the late athlete Kelvin Kiptum's durable home, highlighting the technology involved.

Kenyans on social media were captivated by the swift and innovative construction of the late marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum's family home in Elgeyo Marakwet County. 

This groundbreaking project, overseen by Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga, was completed in record time showcasing the potential of Light Gauge Steel (LGS) technology in revolutionizing building practices.

President William Ruto dispatched a team of skilled engineers to construct a three-bedroom house on a four-acre farm purchased by Kiptum, marking a significant advancement in construction technology in Kenya.

The project was not just a tribute to the athlete's legacy but also a testament to the country's evolving infrastructure capabilities.

Vastu Company Limited, a contractor known for its innovative construction services, led the project, employing LGS technology to meet the ambitious deadline set before Kiptum's burial. 

This method involves using thin sheets of steel to construct various components of a house, such as walls, roofs, and floors, offering a durable, speedy, and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional construction materials.

The efficiency of LGS technology lies in its prefabrication. Structural engineers assemble the steel parts on-site, creating a framework that is then filled with gypsum and cement to form the house's structure. 

"We erected the skeleton walls, and what followed was was be bracing them and then boarding of the interior and exterior followed by gypsum and cement board on the outside. Finally, painting was done before the house is handed over to the family," explained Tuta Richard, a senior director at the State Department for Housing and Urban Development.

The project has not only provided a home for Kiptum's family but also demonstrated the potential of LGS technology in the Kenyan construction industry. 

Tuta encourages Kenyans to embrace this innovative approach to building, highlighting its many advantages over traditional construction methods.

 "Let us not fear to embrace science. This is the way to go. This is like a printed 3D house that has attracted the attention of many people," he stated in interview with reporters.

LGS is lighter than conventional structural steel, which simplifies transportation and installation. 

The prefabrication of components allows for a faster construction pace compared to wood or concrete buildings. 

Today, LGS is utilized in a variety of buildings, including residential homes, commercial buildings, industrial facilities, and agricultural buildings, demonstrating its versatility and efficiency.

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