UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI
COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTUTRE AND ENGINEERING
SCHOOL OF BUILT ENVIRONMENT
DEPARTMENT OF REAL ESTATE AND CONSTRUCTION
USE OF FERROCEMENT AS A SOLUTION TO LOW-COST HOUSING
A CASE STUDY OF HOMA BAY COUNTY
OCHIEN’G SIMON OPIYOH
A research project submitted as a partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Degree of Bachelor Quantity Surveying
Table of Contents
TOC o “1-3” h z u Declaration PAGEREF _Toc524277782 h iAcknowledgement PAGEREF _Toc524277783 h iiDedication PAGEREF _Toc524277784 h iiiList of tables PAGEREF _Toc524277785 h viList of figures PAGEREF _Toc524277786 h viiList of appendices PAGEREF _Toc524277787 h viiiAbbreviation and acronym PAGEREF _Toc524277788 h ixAbstract PAGEREF _Toc524277789 h xCHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION PAGEREF _Toc524277790 h – 1 -1.1 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc524277791 h – 1 -1.2 Problem Statement PAGEREF _Toc524277792 h – 2 -1.3 Justification PAGEREF _Toc524277793 h – 3 -1.4 Hypothesis PAGEREF _Toc524277794 h – 4 -1.5 Objectives PAGEREF _Toc524277795 h – 4 -1.6 Research questions PAGEREF _Toc524277796 h – 4 -1.7 Significance of study PAGEREF _Toc524277797 h – 5 -1.7.1 Government PAGEREF _Toc524277798 h – 5 -1.7.2 Housing developers. PAGEREF _Toc524277799 h – 5 -1.7.3 Financial institutions PAGEREF _Toc524277800 h – 5 -1.7.4 Low income individuals PAGEREF _Toc524277801 h – 6 -1.8 Scope of study PAGEREF _Toc524277802 h – 6 -CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW PAGEREF _Toc524277803 h – 7 -2.1 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc524277804 h – 7 -2.2 Definition PAGEREF _Toc524277805 h – 7 -2.3 History of Ferrocement PAGEREF _Toc524277806 h – 8 -2.3.1 1840s Phase PAGEREF _Toc524277807 h – 8 -2.3.2 1940s Phase PAGEREF _Toc524277808 h – 8 -2.3.3 1960s Phase PAGEREF _Toc524277809 h – 9 -2.4 Constituents of Ferrocement PAGEREF _Toc524277810 h – 11 -2.4.1 Matrix PAGEREF _Toc524277811 h – 11 -2.4.2 Reinforcement PAGEREF _Toc524277812 h – 12 -2.4.3 Admixtures PAGEREF _Toc524277813 h – 13 -2.4.4 Coating PAGEREF _Toc524277814 h – 13 -2.5 Construction procedure PAGEREF _Toc524277815 h – 14 -2.6 Substitute materials PAGEREF _Toc524277816 h – 16 -2.7 Advantages and disadvantages of ferrocement PAGEREF _Toc524277817 h – 17 -2.8 strength of ferrocement PAGEREF _Toc524277818 h – 18 -2.9 Durability PAGEREF _Toc524277819 h – 19 -2.10 Resistance to various factors PAGEREF _Toc524277820 h – 20 -2.11 Corrosion PAGEREF _Toc524277821 h – 20 -2.12 Application areas PAGEREF _Toc524277822 h – 21 -Marine environment PAGEREF _Toc524277823 h – 21 -Storage facilities PAGEREF _Toc524277824 h – 21 -Housing Application PAGEREF _Toc524277825 h – 22 -2.13 Summary of literature Review PAGEREF _Toc524277826 h – 23 -CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY PAGEREF _Toc524277827 h – 24 -3.1 introduction PAGEREF _Toc524277828 h – 24 -3.2 Research Design PAGEREF _Toc524277829 h – 24 -3.3 Reason for this design choice PAGEREF _Toc524277830 h – 25 -3.4 Study area PAGEREF _Toc524277831 h – 25 -3.5 Sampling Design PAGEREF _Toc524277832 h – 26 -3.6 Data Collection PAGEREF _Toc524277833 h – 26 -3.7 Data needs PAGEREF _Toc524277834 h – 27 -3.8 Questionnaire Design PAGEREF _Toc524277835 h – 27 -3.9 Data analysis PAGEREF _Toc524277836 h – 28 -CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS, PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION PAGEREF _Toc524277837 h – 29 -References PAGEREF _Toc524277838 h – 29 –
List of tables
List of figures TOC h z c “Figure” Figure 1:Lambat’s ferrocement boat PAGEREF _Toc523155758 h – 8 -Figure 2: Luigi Exhibition hall. The roof of is made of ferrocement PAGEREF _Toc523155759 h – 9 -Figure 3:Fully constructed Ferrocement water tank PAGEREF _Toc523155760 h – 10 -Figure 4:Ferrocement water tank under construction PAGEREF _Toc523155761 h – 10 -Figure 5: Types of mesh used in Ferrocement construction PAGEREF _Toc523155762 h – 12 -Figure 6: Fabricated skeletal structure with wire mesh to receive mortar PAGEREF _Toc523155763 h – 14 -Figure 7:Application of mortar through spraying PAGEREF _Toc523155764 h – 15 -Figure 8:Application of mortar by hand PAGEREF _Toc523155765 h – 15 –
List of appendices
Abbreviation and acronym
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION1.1 IntroductionThe right to housing as indicated in the constitution does not just mean a mere a structure that is enclosed but should be as described by the Habitat agenda of 1966
“…adequate privacy; adequate space; physical accessibility; adequate security; security of tenure; structural stability and durability; adequate lighting, heating and ventilation; adequate basic infrastructure, such as water-supply, sanitation and waste-management facilities; suitable environmental quality and health related factors; and adequate and accessible location with regard to work and basic facilities; all of which should be available at an affordable cost. Adequacy should be determined together with the people concerned, bearing in mind the prospect for gradual development.” (Habitat Agenda, 1996: 18)
Achieving the required conditions of adequate housing has been a challenge to most people worldwide and especially in the developing countries. One major factor that has contributed to hinderance of the realization of the right to housing is poverty that has stricken many nations in the developing world and the sub Saharan Africa. This has made the matter to be discussed in many UN summits so as to find a solution to the problem. In 2000 the united nation member states agreed on millennium development goals which were later revised in 2008 with additional of four targets one of which was the call for massive production of low-cost housing for slum dwellers and to curb inadequate housing.
Due to economic conditions of most of the nations, achieving the goal has been a challenge leading to increase in number of slum dwellers and expansion of slums, poor living conditions and even some people having no place for shelter
The constitution of Kenya under article 43 1 (b) demands that every citizen should enjoy the right to accessible and adequate housing. This make it an obligation of the government to ensure that the right is achieved by the citizens which has been a great challenge to the government.
High rate of urbanization, poverty and increase of housing costs and prices have made the provision of housing of the scary challenges in socio-economic development of the country (NHPK 2004)
The urban growth rate in Kenya stands at 7% and this is one of the challenges that makes it difficult for the provision of adequate housing to every person since the resources available cannot achieve it without putting pressure on economyCITATION Ken13 l 2057 (KNBS, 2012/2013)The problem of housing need is much experienced by low income individuals who are not able to afford the high cost housing available in the country. But even if all the people were capable of affording the high cost housing the need will still be experienced since the production rate is low. The government and the private sector have been supplying housing units that are aimed at the middle class and high strata of socio-economic class at an estimate of 35000 units annually leaving the low-income individuals with no option
If a low-cost housing can be provided there can a positive change in the number of housing units provided and a reduction in demand.
1.2 Problem StatementThe problem of housing needs has been a great challenge in the country that has been difficult to fulfil by the government due to rapid increase in population. The condition is even worse in urban areas due to high rate of rural-urban migration in the country. Many Kenyans have made it a trend to migrate to urban centres in search of greener pasture leading to increase in population in the urban areas. At the same time adequate and affordable housing in the rural areas has been a challenge due high cost of construction that cannot be met by most of the people dwelling in rural areas
According to 2012/2013 Kenya National Housing Survey basic report inadequate housing in the country is contributed by the following reasons
Commercial banks are charging high mortgage rates which in turn hinders many people from taking mortgages. According to the Kenya integrated household budget survey 2005/06, only 4.2 percent of Kenyan households were able to borrow money to purchase or construct houses
The government of Kenya has not invested intensively on housing with the government only able to provide 3000 housing units which is far much below the required units
High cost of building materials that are commonly used for development of housing
The price of acquiring land and the land rates in urban areas are very high and since land is directly related to housing it makes it difficult to for low income individuals to get it hence significantly influences the cost of a house, hampering growth of low-income housing.
The best way to help in dealing with the demand of housing is by adopting a method that will cut the cost of construction. Cutting down the cost of production can be achieved through use of different method of construction other than the commonly used and when the cost is reduced even those that have a little income can use whatever little they have to get an affordable housing.
Ferrocement houses is an alternative solution since it does not require so much in terms of cost of materials that makes construction expensive. The technology uses a mortar made of cement and sand and a mesh made of steel and fibre is cheaper compared to the common type of blocks and mortar that is in use CITATION Har73 l 2057 (Brown, 1973). In countries where it is practised like India it provides the best alternative for construction of cost housing. It can be used to construct single floor buildings of any size and shape as well as multi storey buildings
With high demand of housing in the country due to high population growth a lasting solution is required to help in dealing with the challenge and the best solution is the use of Ferrocement housing
1.3 JustificationThe most preferred way of ensuring that the problem of inadequate housing that is rising each and every day is taken care of is to provide something that will lower the cost of production of housing while maintaining the quality or even increasing the quality of the product. A solution can also be in form of ensuring that the running cost will be reduced or even done away with if possible. This can be achieved by reducing the cost of the material used in the construction of houses. Since materials form 65% of the total cost of construction, if the cost of materials is reduced then the overall cost of construction shall also be reduced. When the cost of material is reduced by using a cheaper material which does not require much workmanship then it will also lead to reduction in the cost of labour in that when cheap materials are used too much workmanship and skills are not required hence reduction in the cost of labour. Since labour cost takes about 30% of the total cost then a reduction in labour cost will have a significance reduction in the final cost of production of houses.
Ferrocement technology has a significance reduction in the cost of materials involved in construction. The technology is not new in Kenya but has not been extensively used.
The technology has been used in different countries across the world for different purposes. Since its introduction in 1960s decade when it was used for marine purposes in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom, the technology has gained significance and has been used also in construction industries to produce low cost housing. The technology has been used in Latin American countries such as Brazil, Cuba and Mexico to construct residential houses, water tanks, roof panels and schools CITATION DrE15 l 2057 (Wainshtok, 2015). The method was used in Australia to construct the roof of Sydney Opera House and in India in construction of residential housesCITATION Exp08 l 2057 (Kundoo, 2008)In Africa some parts of the continent like west and east Africa has had an experience in the use of ferrocement. For example, the method was first use in construction of roof panels in Burkina Faso and for construction of a water tank in Kibwezi in Kenya in 1976. Muhuni Alex Macharia of UoN in his research study “Investigating the extent of use of ferrocement as an alternative building material in Kenya” concluded that the material is suitable for use in developing countries due to its cost effectiveness. The researcher argued that the ferrocement material cuts the cost of construction and this proves that the material can be used as an alternative solution to low cost housing which is in high demand in the country.
1.4 HypothesisFerrocement houses provides an alternative solution to inadequate low-cost housing in the country
1.5 ObjectivesTo examine the suitability of using Ferrocement as an alternative solution to low cost housing
To determine the impact of using Ferrocement in construction of low-cost housing to the environment
To find out why ferrocement has not been extensively used in Kenya
1.6 Research questionsIs ferrocement a suitable alternative solution to low cost housing
What is the impact of using Ferrocement in construction of low-cost housing to the environment?
Why has ferrocement not been used extensively in the construction industry in Kenya?
1.7 Significance of studyThe fundamental reason for this study is to come up with an alternative solution to providing low cost housing in the country in order to deal with the gap in housing need which according to World Bank (2016) stands at over 2 million units in Kenya. Finding a solution to the problem of housing is important since it has a significance to the economy of a country in that there will be a lot of savings from the money spent by the government to find a solution to the problem, the savings can then be used to grow other sectors in the economy. On the other hand, a solution will reduce the cost of production which in turn will lead to savings hence increase in the economy. The study shall have relevance to the following bodies.
1.7.1 GovernmentThe government has been having a challenge of providing housing to the citizens as stipulated in the constitution due to financial challenges among other things. Finding a way that can help in ensuring that the little available resources is used to produce housing to cater for the housing needs in the country would be beneficial to the government. The use of Ferrocement housing gives an alternative solution to this problem since it requires little resources compared to conventional masonry building construction and through it the government will be able to provide low cost housing to meet the housing need in the country as required in the MDG.
1.7.2 Housing developers.In many cases developers have been facing a challenge due to cost of constructing housing units that can be consumed to curb the deficit in housing needs in the country. If an alternative can be found that can cut the cost while maintaining the quality needed to provide housing can be better. Ferrocement housing being a low-cost housing provides an alternative solution since the cost of construction is cut while quality is maintained and all the requirements of a low-cost housing can be met by using the method of construction
1.7.3 Financial institutionsThese are the institution that provide mortgage services. The study will help them come up with an alternative mortgage rates that can be achieved by low income individuals leading to increase in production of housing to reduce the gap in housing needs. At the same time the financial institutions shall increase the number of customers that are taking mortgage from them leading to increase in profit for the institutions as the problem of housing is taken care of.
1.7.4 Low income individualsMajority of Kenyans fall under low income group and cannot afford high cost of construction. This calls for introduction of an alternative method to the convectional masonry construction method. The high cost of living makes such group of people to opt for housing that do not meet the standards required. If a low-cost housing solution can be found then these people will be able to use the little earning they get to construct houses that will in turn reduce the housing need or demand in the country. Ferrocement housing provides such solutions hence making the study beneficial.
1.8 Scope of studyConceptual: the study will adopt a structural analysis of low cost housing in Kenya and thus its analysis will be mainly macro.
Physical: The physical scope of the project shall be in Homa Bay County and the respondents include government officials at both national and county government, individual developers, low income individuals and financial institutions. The physical location was arrived at since the method of construction has been adopted by few individuals in the County
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW2.1 IntroductionThe country is faced with the problem of adequate housing. The demand has not been met by both the government and private developers as stipulated in the constitution. This continues to be a great challenge to the country therefore there is need to come up with solutions that can be adopted to ensure that the problem is tamed. Different building materials have been adopted to deal with the issue and some are still suggested since the problem has not been dealt with completely. Introduction of other methods of constructions is welcomed in order to find a permanent solution to the problem of inadequate housing.
Ferrocement method of construction has been used in some countries and has been successful and there is need to introduce the method of construction in the country to offer alternative solution to the problem that has proved difficult to the nation. Since the method has not been used in the country there is need to dig deep into it to ensure that more knowledge is passed to people about it and why it can offer an alternative solution to the problem.
2.2 DefinitionThe definition of ferrocement was arrived at by the ACI committee after deliberations and was defined as “ferrocement is a type of thin wall reinforced concrete commonly constructed of hydraulic cement mortar, reinforced with closely spaced layers of continuous and relatively small size wire mesh. The mesh maybe made of metallic or other suitable materials”CITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009). The composite material formed differs in behaviour with convectional reinforced concrete and therefore is classified on its own as a distinct material. The term also come as a result of the ferrous reinforcement used in the matrix.
The different in property of ferrocement and convectional reinforced concrete is brought about by properties of individual components which differs by manner in which they are dispersed and arranged. The arrangement makes ferrocement to have a relatively better mechanical properties and durability than ordinary reinforced concrete. At some point it behaves like a homogenous elastic material with wider elastic limits compared to conventional reinforced concrete.
The uniform distribution and high surface area to volume ratio of its reinforcement results in better cracks arrest mechanismCITATION Fer l 2057 (Nedwell & Swamy, 2010) . With the different in property to reinforced concrete, the material has an ability to resist earthquakeCITATION Exp08 l 2057 (Kundoo, 2008)
2.3 History of FerrocementThe history of ferrocement can be divided into three phases, 1840s, 1940s and 1960s. during these phases development in the method has been used in different parts across the world has led to its acceptance
2.3.1 1840s PhaseFerrocement dates back to the invention of reinforced concrete in the 19th century. J. L. Lambat a French national in 1847 made concrete rowing boat which was reinforced with a network (or basket) of wires and interlaced thin rods. He received a patent for his work which marked the dawn of ferrocement in the construction industryCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009). His original ferrocement boat now rest in the Brignoles Museum in France. After Lambat’s work, the concept of ferrocement was forgotten for almost 100 years because the technology could not accommodate the time and the effort needed to make mesh of thousands of wires CITATION Fer73 l 2057 (James, et al., 1973) and this lead to use of rods for reinforcement which are used in the convectional reinforced concrete and later reappeared during first world war when shortage of steel plates forced search for other boat building materials
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1:Lambat’s ferrocement boat2.3.2 1940s PhaseIn early 1940s, Pier Luigi Nervi an Italian engineer and an architect brought back the original concept of ferrocement by observing that reinforcing concrete with layers of wire mesh produced a material possessing the mechanical characteristics of an approximately homogenous material and capable of resisting impact CITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009). He then constructed a 165-ton mortar sailor Irene with a ferrocement hull which was 36mm thick and weighed 5% less than a comparable wood hull. The Irene proved that it was seaworthy by surviving two serious accidents and the repair after the accident only required minor plastering without major repair on the hull. Thin slabs of concrete that were reinforced in the manner of ferrocement were also made by him and he realised that such slabs proved to be flexible, elastic and exceptionally strongCITATION Fer73 l 2057 (James, et al., 1973)After building sailor Irene Nervi also built other civil engineering structures using ferrocement construction method, the structures include a ware house which had its walls and roof made of corrugated ferrocement which was 30mm in thickness and later on used the concept of corrugated ferrocement to build roofs of major structures including roof spanning 320 feet for Turin Exhibition Hall CITATION SPS81 l 2057 (Shah, 1981).
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 2: Luigi Exhibition hall. The roof of is made of ferrocement2.3.3 1960s PhaseDespite being demonstrated as useful, ferrocement did not gain wide acceptance until early 1960s when the method of construction was embraced in United Kingdom, Australia.in 1965 America instructed boat construction company in New Zealand to construct for them a ferrocement boat, Awanee, the boat circumnavigated the world without any serious mishap CITATION SPS81 l 2057 (Shah, 1981). This marked the world-wide application phase of ferrocement as a construction material and the phase runs up to current time
The use of ferrocement did not expand much beyond boat construction even though the universal availability of the basic components of ferrocement, that is the steel mesh and cement mortar created interest in potential application in developing countries for construction of roofs to walls of low cost housing, food storage bins and irrigation troughs. In 1972 the U. S. National Academy of Sciences through its board of Science and Technology for International Development established an ad hoc panel on the utilization of ferrocement in developing countries. This was followed by formation of committee 549 by American Concrete Institute to develop a body of knowledge on ferrocement in 1975. In 1976 the International Ferrocement Information Centre was formed at Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok Thailand which produced journals periodically on ferrocement this was later on followed by the formation of Committee 48FC which was concerned with evaluating testing methods for ferrocement by RILEM in 1979 CITATION SPS81 l 2057 (Shah, 1981).
Since that time the use of ferrocement has been gaining wider acceptance across the world and its use has expanded from boat construction to construction of other engineering structures including low cost housing. This was attributed by construction of straight hollow ferrocement beams in Mexico which span up to 7.2 metres and the construction of the same in Czechoslovakia, low cost housing in India, Bangkok, Israel and Papua New Guinea. The same has also been experienced in Africa in the construction of roofs in Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe and a water tank in Kibwezi Kenya.
30956252223135Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 3:Fully constructed Ferrocement water tankFigure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 3:Fully constructed Ferrocement water tank3095625381000
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 4:Ferrocement water tank under construction2.4 Constituents of Ferrocement
The materials that are used in combination to come up with Ferrocement are Portland cement mortar matrix, reinforcement, admixture and coating. The percentage quantity of the constituents always differs but the constituent that takes the larger percentage is the mortar matrix that takes up to 95% of the final product of ferrocement. The constituents are as discussed.
2.4.1 MatrixThe matrix used in ferrocement is made up of hydraulic cement and inert filler material. The commonly used cement is type I Portland cement which is sometimes blended by pozzolan while sand is used as the filler material. The sand use should be free from organic matter and fairly free from silt and clay CITATION ELo82 l 2057 (Lorns, 1982). The sand should also be well graded and capable of passing through 2.36mm sieve. However, depending on the characteristics of the reinforcing materials, a mortar containing some small-sized gravel may be used in construction of ferrocement. The physical properties of the mortar depend solely on the chemical composition of the cement, nature of sand, water to cement ratio and curing conditions of the finished ferrocement. The properties of mortar used greatly influence the final property of ferrocement since the mortar matrix forms 95% of the final productCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009)Portland cement is preferred since its use yields a composite in which the matrix behaves in a manner considered to have some tensile strength, this makes ferrocement to differ from the convectional reinforced concrete since the composite action appears to be more pronounced in ferrocement than reinforced concrete.
The matrix requirements depend on the use of ferrocement structure and universally includes high compressive strength, impermeability, hardness, resistance to chemical attack, low shrinkage and workability. The properties of the mortar used as the matrix is determined by water-cement ratio, sand-cement ratio, gradation, shape and maximum size of filler, quality, age and type of cement and finally the admixtures.
The capacity of the matrix to resist tensile load and controlling cracking is achieved through the use of short and discrete fibres of different types. This is why relatively short and slender steel fibres are sometimes randomly distributed in the hydraulic cement mortar for effective production of ferrocement in order to increase tensile strength while improving shear resistance of the mortar. This influences the design of the material system and the final properties of the resulting ferrocement productCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009). The watertight construction required in ferrocement is achieved by keeping the water to cement ratio below 0.4 by weight and the use of very fluid mortar to ensure complete saturation of the mesh while crack control can also be achieved through gradation, amount and type of sand used in the matrix as the filler. The sand used should be free from organic matter and fairly free from silt and clay while the water used should be free from organic matter and be portable. Water reducing admixtures may be used to enhance mix plasticity and reduce water CITATION ELo82 l 2057 (Lorns, 1982).
Ferrocement reinforcement is in the form of layers of continuous mesh fabricated from single strand filaments. The commonly used mesh type includes woven or interlocking mesh, woven cloth mesh, welded and specially woven pattern mesh. Expanded metal lath that is perforated and continuous filament that are randomly or at least irregularly assembled into two-dimensional mat form made up of organic fibres or glass fibres may also be used as the reinforcementCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009).
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 5: Types of mesh used in Ferrocement constructionThere are two important reinforcing parameters that are commonly used in characterizing ferrocement which is volume fraction of ferrocement and the specific surface of the reinforcement which is the total volume of reinforcement per unit volume of composite. The general properties of the mesh should be a diameter of 0.5 – 2mm, size of mesh opening of 6 – 35mm and a maximum volume fraction of 8% in both directions CITATION MBV15 l 2057 (Verma, 2015). Properties of the resulting ferrocement products can be influenced by the filament size or gauge, strength, ductility, manufacture and treatment of the reinforcing mesh.
2.4.3 AdmixturesThese are additives added to cement sand mortar so as to bring in changes or modify some of the properties of the mortar in fresh and hardened state. The admixtures can either be chemicals whose addition quantity should not be more than 5% by weight of cement and any other that can be in excess of 5% by weight of cement. Ferrocement may require chemical admixtures to reduce the reaction between the matrix and the reinforcement meshCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009). Some of the admixtures that are used in ferrocement include
Retarders: these are used to delay setting time of cement passed thereby reducing the generation of heat in the mortar
Water reducers: these admixtures are added to improve the plasticity of the mix in its fresh state to achieve higher strength by reducing water-cement ratio
Foamed blast furnace slag is sometimes used as lightweight filler for partial or full replacement of sand, this results in the reduction of density and thermal conductivity of ferrocement while fly ash may be used as partial replacement of cement to improve durability and reduce cost.
2.4.4 CoatingThe coating and impregnation treatments that are applied to convectional concrete and reinforced concrete are the same that are used in ferrocement. They include polymer impregnation, use of acrylic, latex and cement-based coating. These coatings serve the purpose of reducing porosity, controlling surface deterioration or provide a surface of a particular functional designCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009). The coatings also act as a material to improve the aesthetic value of the structure.
2.5 Construction procedureThere are two methods of ferrocement construction, the traditional method that may be considered as labour intensive and the advance method that uses some technology such as spraying of the mortar although some more advancement is still researched to reduce the labour. The main objective of the construction method is to ensure that the layers of mesh and the plastic Portland cement matrix are bonded together fully. The construction procedure is divided into three stages as follows
This stage involves the preparation of the skeletal structure on to which the reinforcement mesh will be tied. The skeletal structure can be made of steel rods or bamboo reeds as per the economic state of the person. Bamboo is always used as a substitute to reduce the cost of construction. In the traditional method of construction, the skeletal frame was constructed by tying the mesh by hand to a framework of rods even though other methods like welding can also be used. Once the skeletal structure has been constructed the mesh is then tied to the skeletal structure ready to receive the mortar CITATION Exp08 l 2057 (Kundoo, 2008). The more advanced method of construction involves first tying the reinforcement by checking the design requirements. Through the design requirement, the number of required layers mesh to be used is determined and then laid and tied firmly to each other as well as to the skeletal steel. The skeletal steel is responsible for making framework of the structural component upon which the layers of the mesh reinforcement are laid. The steel also serves as spacers to the mesh
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 6: Fabricated skeletal structure with wire mesh to receive mortarStage two
The second stage involves the preparation of the mortar according to the required proportions ready to be applied to the mesh using either the traditional ways of using hand or trowel or through the use of the new technology like the use of spraying technique to apply the mortar to the mesh and the application of the matrix to the skeletal structure that has been constructed.
32099252257425Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 7:Application of mortar through sprayingFigure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 7:Application of mortar through spraying32099258572500
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 8:Application of mortar by handThicker structures can be done in two stages that is plastering to half thickness from one side, allowing to cure and then doing the remaining half. Mortar is then forced through the armature and finished on both sides by convectional plasteringCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009).
The last stage of construction involves allowance of the mortar to set or cure so as to produce the final structure. A period of two weeks is always required for the mortar to cure completely after which plastering can be done CITATION Har73 l 2057 (Brown, 1973).
The method is believed to be labour intensive and prone to leave voids in the shadows of the mesh and the rods. This calls for research on how to reduce the problems of voids and labour. A research by U.S Navy showed that the rods were in insufficient use of reinforcing since they were not loaded to take advantage of their strength, the spacing also created regions of unreinforced mortar that contributed to the weight but to the strength of the structure and at the same time acting as stress concentrators. After this a more advanced method was adopted. The construction does not require skilled labour or heavy capital investment on equipment to produce the final product. The skills required can be quickly mastered and under good supervision even the unskilled labour can produce an excellent result in terms of the final structure
2.6 Substitute materialsDuring construction of ferrocement structures other construction materials may be used to replace the convectional ones in order to reduce the cost while maintaining or increasing the quality of the structure. The commonly used materials as a substitute always takes the part of reinforcement and includes
It can be used to replace the steel rods in the ferrocement skeletal structure construction without affecting the quality of the final structure in terms of functionality. When bamboo is used instead of steel rods, there is a reduction in the cost of construction since bamboo is cheaper than the steel rods. This was arrived at after a construction of 6 cubic metres water tank that used bamboo instead of the convectional steel reinforcement. After five years of close monitoring the tank did not show any defect in its structure.
Sisal fibres can be used instead of steel fibres to enhance strength of the final product. Application of sisal fibre instead of steel fibre in form of wire mesh reduces the cost of material since sisal fibres are cheaper and easy to acquire than steel fibres.
Jute fibre is van also be used as a replacement to steel fibres in construction of ferrocement structures, use of jute reduces the cost of construction since it is a natural fibre and natural fibres are relatively cheaper compared to the steel mesh. Jute fibres are used a reinforcement to increase the tensile strength of the final product CITATION Rah16 l 2057 (Rahul R & Vikas L, March 2016).
Application of substitute materials in construction of ferrocement is considered as one of the advantages since it results in reduction of the overall cost of construction. In some cases, the substitute materials are wholly used in the construction while in some cases they are applied together with other materials.
2.7 Advantages and disadvantages of ferrocementThe only reason why ferrocement is suggested for use in construction industry as an alternative is the advantages that it has over other types of construction like masonry and reinforced concrete. The advantages include:
Availability of raw materials
Acquisition of materials for construction depends solely of their availability and this determines the cost of the materials. If the materials are readily available then their acquisition will be easy and thus reducing the cost of acquiring them. The materials used in construction of ferrocement structures are readily available and can be acquired with ease thereby reducing the cost of construction.
Low cost of construction materials
The cost of materials in takes about 65% of the total cost of construction. When the cost of materials is high then the overall cost will also be high and this call for the need of cost reduction through the cost of materials used. The materials that are used in ferrocement construction are cheaper making the method of construction economical.
Easy of fabrication
Ferrocement can be fabricated into any desired shape without any difficulty to meet the use needs this is not the case of reinforced concrete that requires a lot of work and skills to acquire some shapes
Low labour skills
Construction of ferrocement does not require a much sophiscated skills except for some critical structures like the deep-sea vessels. And since construction involving cement has its techniques widely known it makes it easier to even acquires the required skills without thorough learning.
Better mechanical property and durability than ordinary reinforced concrete
Studies shows that ferrocement structures have better mechanical properties than ordinary reinforced concrete and are more durable than ordinary reinforced concrete. The mechanical activities make it able to resist earthquakes
The disadvantage of ferrocement is that it is labour intensive making it uneconomical for industrial application especially in the western countries where labour is a great challenge CITATION Exp08 l 2057 (Kundoo, 2008)2.8 strength of ferrocementJust like any other structure strength of ferrocement plays a major role since it is one of the major factors that is used to determine whether ferrocement can be used as an alternative method of construction. Ferrocement behaves differently from convectional reinforced concrete and within some loading limits it behaves like homogenous elastic material and these limits are wider than those of the reinforced concrete making it have better strength than the convectional reinforced concreteCITATION Fer l 2057 (Nedwell & Swamy, 2010). The strength is considered by looking at the tensile, compressive, flexural and shear strength.
The higher surface area of reinforcement in ferrocement that in the convectional reinforced concrete makes it unique in terms of behaviour and is used as a factor to determine the strengthCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009). The tensile strength of ferrocement depends on the strength of the reinforcement used in the structure and the orientation of the reinforcement in the structure. Ferrocement structures have higher surface area of reinforcement than the convectional reinforced concrete which allows it to have higher tensile strength than convectional reinforced concrete.
The second form of strength possessed by ferrocement is the compressive strength which is influenced by the matrix and proportion to the cross-sectional area of the matrix since the matrix used in ferrocement is the ordinary Portland cement mortar, the compressive strength of the structure therefore depends on the strength of the mortar used. Compressive strength is therefore majorly determined by the volume fraction of the reinforcement. Compressive strength of ferrocement can also be influenced by the type, orientation and how the reinforcement are arrangedCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009).
The flexural is influenced by factors that determines both the compressive and tensile strength and includes amount, type, orientation and the intrinsic geometry of the reinforcing layers. The strength is higher than that of convectional reinforced concrete but differs with the type of mesh used. Hexagonal, square and woven mesh all have different flexural strength but which is higher than that of reinforced concrete. Square welded mesh has higher strength than other types due to debonding produced by premature straightening of the longitudinal wires which are not initially straight in woven mesh, resistance to bond failure and the effect of transverse or oblique elements in welded mesh and expanded metalCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009)The shear strength of ferrocement is always ignored since the use of ferrocement is primarily in cases where the span depth ratio is relatively large thereby making shear strength not a factor to be considered. However, when considered the shear strength is determined by the characteristics of the reinforcement and that of the mortarCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009). Increasing the strength of the mortar and the wire mesh reinforcement increases the shear strength of the structureCITATION Fer l 2057 (Nedwell & Swamy, 2010).
2.9 DurabilityDurability of ferrocement is a vital factor that should be looked into due to the fact that the cover of reinforcement is small and can allow corrosive liquid to reach the reinforcement, high surface area of reinforcement which increases the contact area of corrosion and the nature of the reinforcement which is highly galvanised to reduce corrosionCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009).
Corrosion of reinforcement should be addressed to ensure that durability is achieved in ferrocement structures. Due to the thickness of the mortar that covers the reinforcement which is relatively small, even relatively low water to cement ratio for mortar cannot be enough to ensure that the reinforcement is protected against corrosionCITATION Fer l 2057 (Nedwell & Swamy, 2010). To control this and to ensure that durability is achieved, plastering should be done on the surface with a lot of care to ensure that there are no gaps left. Durability can also be achieved through proper compaction of the matrix and ensuring that a protective coating is added to prevent the reinforcement from any attack. The application of coating always ensures that there is improvement in resistance to sulphate attackCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009). All the constituents of the structure should be protected from deterioration to ensure durability is achieved in ferrocement structures.
Deteriorations due to the matrix which may arise as a result of contact with chemical reacting with the cement are reduced by lowering the water cement ratio, proper curing and addition of sulphate resistance admixtures. The size of the aggregate also is put into check since it also influences the durability by either lowering or increasing the number of materials passing through mortar to attack the reinforcementCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009)To increase the durability associated with the reinforcement, the cracks must be limited since the cracks allows the chemicals to easily pass and attack the reinforcement. The matrix should not have a lot of cracks to ensure that they are durableCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009). In terms of durability both ferrocement and reinforced concrete are at par.
2.10 Resistance to various factorsFor ferrocement to be suitable for recommendation as an alternative construction material it has to pass the test of resistance to various environmental factors. These factors include fire, impact among others. The resistance of ferrocement to various factors are as discussed
Impact resistance in ferrocement is determined by the amount of energy that the structure can absorb during impact. Ferrocement structures have considerable strength to resist impact due to the presence of finely dispersed reinforcing materials, the type of reinforcement used in the structure and the characteristic of the mortar used CITATION Gor72 l 2057 (Bigg, 1972). The structures also have the ability to resist blast impact since they can be deformed easily without breaking. This is as a result of the ability to behave like a homogeneous elastic material under some range of stress
This is the ability of a structural member to resist fire. The factors that determines the fire resistance of a structural element includes the material of the element, geometry and the severity of the fire itself. When fire is devastatingly severe even the strongest element will not be able to resist it. Ferrocement structures have better resistance to fire due to its specific heat capacity which is higher compared to that of the convectional reinforced concrete which makes it able to absorb more heatCITATION Ank17 l 2057 (Batra, et al., 2017)2.11 CorrosionCorrosion is one of the major factors that need to looked into because it is the main cause of deterioration of the structures. In order to ensure that durability is achieved then corrosion must be checked. Corrosion in ferrocement is caused by chemicals attacking the reinforcement and the mortar causing defect in the structure. The attack on mortar can be caused by sea water and salt crystallization within the cracks and poresCITATION Fer l 2057 (Nedwell & Swamy, 2010). In order to ensure that corrosion on the mortar is dealt with then the cracks must be reduced as possible and this can be done by painting, plastering, reducing the water cement ratio of the mortar and addition of corrosion inhibitors to the mortarCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009). Corrosion of reinforcement on the other hand is reduced by addition of a protective layer of mortar as a coating surface to the structure and by using reinforcement with anti-corrosive coating.
2.12 Application areas
There are wide range of application of ferrocement in the construction industry because of its ease of construction and the availability of the materials used in its construction. The areas of application include.
Marine environmentThis was the first application of ferrocement. The first ferrocement structure was a boat built by Lambat which marked the beginning of ferrocement. Construction of boats using ferrocement has gained acceptance because of its ability to be fabricated into any design shape, durability and cheapness compared to timber and steel construction CITATION Ank17 l 2057 (Batra, et al., 2017). The boat structures made of ferrocement are preferred since they have high impact resistance. The ferrocement technology in marine environment gained a wider interest during the second world war when steel was inadequate leading to need for an alternative method of constructionCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009). Since then ferrocement has been used in different countries, for example, it was used in Canada to build boats and according to Canadian list of shipping vessels in 1971, seven vessels were made of ferrocement CITATION Gor72 l 2057 (Bigg, 1972)Ferrocement boats if constructed in the right way has strength and low maintenance compared to other forms of boat construction such as steel and timber. The use of ferrocement in boat construction diminished as a result of DIY methods that resulted into poorly built boats CITATION Jan13 l 2057 (Lugowski, 2013).
The boat building application of ferrocement is economical since it saves on resources since the method of construction is cheaper than other methods of construction such as use of steel and timber, at the same time it conserves the environment by reducing deforestation by saving on timber that can be used.
Storage facilities Ferrocement has been used in the construction of storage silos and water tanks both over the surface and underground which offer protection and resistance to weather. Ferrocement silos are watertight and when appropriate sealant is added becomes airtight. The airtight ability helps in ensuring that the grains are safe from any pest since the pest cannot survive in the silos after respiration of grains to remove oxygen CITATION Har73 l 2057 (Brown, 1973). An underground storage made of ferrocement has been built in Ethiopia to replace the traditional method of storage.
Ferrocement water tanks are preferred are preferred because of their durability and low maintenance. The material for its construction are also not expensive. The method can be used to fully construct a tank or to construct a protective layer around a plastic tank to protect it from the sun CITATION Jan13 l 2057 (Lugowski, 2013). Water leakage in ferrocement tanks is less compared to conventional reinforced concrete water tanks
An elevated water tank with a capacity of 46000 litres was successfully constructed in Bangladesh with ferrocement in 1991 and still in good condition to date. In New Zealand, small capacity tanks made of ferrocement are being constructed in factories and dispatched for usedCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009).
In Kenya a ferrocement water tanks was constructed in Kibwezi in 1976 and is still standing in good operating condition.
Housing ApplicationFerrocement technology has gained wide acceptance in housing in construction of roof panels, slabs, floor panels, beams, columns and walls because of its low cost in comparison to other forms of construction, durability, resistance to weather factors and the ability to withstand earthquakeCITATION Fer l 2057 (Nedwell & Swamy, 2010)The structural elements can either be made at the factory through mass production or on site. Onsite production is economical compared to factory fabrication due to one-piece fabrication of element that is easier at the site than at the factory
The first application of ferrocement in roofing was done by Nervi when he used ferrocement technology to construct a wide span roof of the Turin Museum. The roofs units are preferred since they appear economical with a different of 60% in cost compared to other roofing materials, are durable, have high fire resistance and can resist earthquakeCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009). Ferrocement roofs were tested in Burkina Faso and were found to be highly adaptable even to complex architectural designs. The study found out that the roof panels can be constructed by unskilled labour as long as they are assisted. Another factor that has made ferrocement to be recommended for roof structures is its plasticity and strength which allows for large coverage without columnsCITATION Fer l 2057 (Nedwell & Swamy, 2010). Large roofs that are made of ferrocement have been constructed in Italy with the recent design being the construction of six ferrocement roof sheets for roofing of an animal shelterCITATION Ame09 l 2057 (ACI 549R-97, 2009).
Ferrocement house are preferred because they can be constructed in a wide range of quality and properties as per the budget and demand of the employer. In this case low cost housing as well as high cost housing can be produced using ferrocement CITATION Ham92 l 2057 (Hammoud & Naaman, January 1992)2.13 Summary of literature ReviewThe use of ferrocement has gained acceptance in many countries in the world and has proven economical whenever used when compared to other construction methods such as the use of reinforced concrete and normal masonry construction. The acceptance is due to economical advantages it has over other methods of construction and its vast area of application. Many countries are now using the technology to construct low cost houses as well as earthquake resistance structures and in boat construction. The strength of ferrocement has been tested and found to be higher than that of ordinary reinforced concrete and therefore suitable for construction of house. However, there is a gap in the knowledge and use of ferrocement in Kenya. The construction method has not gained much acceptance in the country as compared to other third world countries and its use is limited in the country thereby calling for a study to know the reasons behind this. At the same time little knowledge is available concerning the environmental impact of using ferrocement technology in construction in all its area of application. This gap of knowledge needs to be filled and the technology should be encouraged in the country since in all countries where the technology has been used it has proved economical.
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY3.1 introduction In this chapter the main focus is on the methods applied by the researcher in conducting the research so as to achieve the objectives of the study. The design and methodology play an important role because they determine whether the objectives are achievable or not. The methodology chosen is used in data collection and analysis so as to achieve the objectives of the study. Effective research methodology is developed through making correct choices of the research design, research tools and data type CITATION Rob16 l 2057 (Robert Rukwaro, 2016)3.2 Research DesignThis the way the researcher combines the study under research to answer the questions that the research seeks to answer. It is a structure and a strategy of investigation applied to obtain answers to research questions. The design used in research should enable the researcher to plan, manage, collect data, analyse it and to achieve the required result CITATION Rob16 l 2057 (Robert Rukwaro, 2016).
In this research study, the design that was adopted by the researcher is the survey design which has the capability of obtaining the information required by asking people about what they think about the problem of study, this was combined with secondary data obtained from the available resources. This makes the research both qualitative and quantitative. The research design that has been adopted by the researcher can be seen in the figure below.
In this research the information used was obtained from Architects, Engineers, Quantity Surveyors, Contractors and individual users. The information was mainly collected through questionnaires and interviews administered by the research to the appropriate target group. The main reason for using questionnaire was to gather information on what the target group think or their view on ferrocement technology in Kenya and the rest of the world in respect to low-cost housing, its use, environmental impact and why it has not been extensively used in or adopted in Kenya despite its wider acceptance in other parts of the world especially in third world countries.
3.3 Reason for this design choiceDue to the nature of the data required in the research, questionnaire was considered the best alternative in data collection because it is the most convenient and suitable instrument for data collection in a survey research.
3.4 Study areaThe main areas where the study was conducted is Homa bay county and Nairobi both in Kenya. Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya covering an area of about 696sqkm at an altitude of 1795m above the sea level. This area was selected by the researcher since the majority of the professionals who are duly registered with the accredited registration bodies Such as BORASQ and EBK are based in Nairobi. Most of the project that are done even in upcountry are under professionals from Nairobi city and this made it suitable for the study.
Homa Bay County is one of the 47 counties in Kenya and is number as number 43 in county numbering in Kenya. It covers an area of approximately 3183.3sqkm and lies within the lake basin 420km south west of Nairobi. The county is majorly habited by the Luo and Abasuba tribe taking up to 95% of the county population. The are was selected by the research since there are a number of ferrocement structures in the county spread across it with the majority of the houses made of ferrocement in Mfangano island which is the largest island in East Africa. Presence of ferrocement structures in Homa Bay county attracted the researcher to the area since it offers some information and knowledge of the technology. Below are the maps of Nairobi and Homa Bay county respectively.
3.5 Sampling DesignCollection of data from the whole population is always tedious and time consuming hence need for a sample to represent the whole population. A sample is a small representation of the entire population and are selected to help in coming up with conclusions concerning the entire population. Sampling was adopted due to financial and time constraints, accuracy of result and enhanced speed of data collection. Sampling should be done in a way that it represents the whole population without biasness. In the research study sampling was done on professionals and individual users to find their representation. The professionals were the architect, engineers, quantity surveyors and the contractors while the individual users were those that have ferrocement structures.
The professionals were selected from the list of members that are duly registered with the accredited registration bodies which are BORAQS, EBK and NCA while the individual users were randomly selected from users who own ferrocement houses especially in Homa Bay county.
The sampling was done at 95% degree of confidence and a total of 79 professionals were selected in addition to 41 individual users giving a total of 120. Since a sample size larger than 30 and less 500 is always recommended, the sample size of 120 is within the required range and therefore is appropriate.
3.6 Data CollectionThis is the process of obtaining the required information needed for the achievement of the objectives of the study. In this research the researcher created a questionnaire and sent to the target group. An interview was also conducted on a number of target groups that would be reached physically especially those that owned ferrocement structures in Homa Bay county to obtain information on the suitability of using ferrocement and their view on why it has not been embraced in Kenya. Use of questionnaire made it easier to collect data from the samples which could be used numerically with ease since it did not involve high cost. Interviews on the other hand gave more details but proved costly as it involves travelling to meet the interviewee.
Secondary data was obtained from books, journals, reports, research projects and the internet. The books and journal were got from the University of Nairobi library and from the internet. From the secondary data information was obtained that helped in knowing more about ferrocement.
3.7 Data needsThe data needs were as shown in the table below
Research question Objectives Data Type Data Collection method Data Source
Is ferrocement a suitable solution to low cost housing? To examine the suitability of ferrocement as an alternative solution to low-cost housing Secondary Data Literature review Books, Reports, Journals and Research papers
Primary Data Questionnaires and interview Professionals and individual users
What is the impact of using ferrocement as an alternative low-cost housing to the environment? To determine the impact of using ferrocement as a low-cost housing to the environment. Secondary Data Literature review Books, Reports, Journals and Research papers
Primary Data Interviews, Questionnaires and Observations Individual users, environment and professionals.
Why has ferrocement not been extensively used in Kenya? To find out why ferrocement has not been extensively used in Kenya Secondary Data Literature Review Research papers
Primary Data Questionnaire and interviews Professionals and individual users
3.8 Questionnaire DesignThe researcher designed a questionnaire that was easy to understand so as to avoid any inconvenience and to ensure that data analysis was made easier from the information obtained from the questionnaire. The questions adopted were both open and close ended. The close ended questions were adopted in order to get responses that would be easy to analyse and interpret statistically using numerical data while open ended questions were used to get more information that may have been missing in the close ended questions, this information was useful in coming up with qualitative data analysis and to get more information from the target samples. A copy of the questionnaire is attached at the appendices page
3.9 Data analysisAfter collection of data, the researcher used both SPSS and MS Excel to organize and analyse data which were then presented using charts, tables and graph which helped in getting the findings that were used to arrive at the conclusion and in making recommendations
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS, PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSIONReferences BIBLIOGRAPHY ACI 549R-97, 2009. Report on Ferrocement, Michigan: American Concrete Institute.
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