Building Materials in Kenya
Building materials are any substance, natural or man made, which is used for construction purposes to create structures and buildings.
The choice of building materials is determined by factors like availability, cost, tenacity and durability.
Common types of building materials in Kenya.
These are the most common used type of material. They are two types of stones in the market; manually cut stones and machine cut stones. The manually cut stones are strong and are prefered for foundations and load bearing walls.
Machine cut stones are well shaped with an even surface, which helps in saving on time and labour cost that would have gone into dressing. They also save on mortar during building and plastering since there are no uneven gaps to be filled.
This is used wit cement, and sometimes lime, to make mortar for masonry work and plaster. The material is also used as a part of the concrete mix.
These are made using clay which is compressed to form blocks then air dried. After drying,the bricks are burnt or fired in a kiln to permanently harden them. Fired bricks are commonly used for construction of walls and arches as a substitute to stone. They are popular due to their fire resistance abilities.
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Metal features prominently in structural framework of buildings. Steel is the most used metal during construction.
Steel is commonly used to make reinforced concrete used as support for structures in buildings, dam and bridges.
Copper is commonly used for electric wires, indoor design elements and piping for water supply.
Aluminium is used for gutters, roofing sheets and roofing nails while other metals such as a gold silver and chrome are used for decorations due to their high cost and lack of tensile strength and hardness.
Cement is used in masonry work as an adhesive to hold the stones, bricks and blocks in place as well as in plastering.
The material is mixed with aggregate (sand and gravel) as a binder to form concrete which is commonly used for building of floors, bridges, dams and roads.
Wood is used mainly in panelling, flooring and general finishing. It also used in construction of roofs, ceiling, doors and window frames and exterior cladding.
It is important on buildings since it provides the ability to let in light into the interiors while simultaneously locking out undesirable weather elements.
These are most common roofing materials in the country due to their affordability.They come in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes and are usually produced with a series of alternating grooves and ridges(corrugation) which inrease their binding strength.
These are thin flat slabs of fired clay, concrete, cement or metal usually laid in rows to form a roofing cover
A comprehensive list of all companies dealing with building materials in Kenya, their addresses (postal and physical), contacts (telephone and e-mail) and a link to the building materials in Kenya company website.