iKhaya Brick Technologies (IBT) www.ikhayabrick.com [under construction] has developed a viable solution to accelerate housing construction using simple, practical technology, providing jobs and ensuring the transfer of skills to localised communities.
The iKhaya Brick™ (i-brick) is manufactured using soil from the construction site or nearby, and IBT admixtures which ensure the quality and longevity of the finished product. IBT admixtures are formulated and blended to waterproof, plasticize, stabilise and improve the curing properties and final strength of iKhaya Bricks.
The bricks are produced to uniform dimensions – 300 mm by 150 mm by 100 mm – and a uniform weight of about 8.4 kg per unit, with a compressive strength of between 12.5 and 18 MPa. The ikhaya Brick is claimed to be the first completely waterproof soil brick. Even when submerged the bricks absorb less than 5% of their volume in water. Made primarily of earth, the bricks provide effective thermal and acoustic insulation. A smooth finish adds to the appeal of the product for home building. The bricks have been SABS tested for compressive strength, impact resistance and their waterproof properties.
iKhaya bricks are produced on an IBT production plant which is fully portable, allowing for bricks to be manufactured on construction sites, even in remote areas. Production can be increased whenever required simply by bringing in additional plant and increasing the number of manufacturing teams.
This portable technology allows for employment of unskilled labour in the community where iKhaya Brick houses are being built. IBT assists with start-up services, testing local soil types and ensuring that quality specifications are in place. It also provides training on i-brick manufacture and building skills using i-bricks
The bricks are formed with two cylindrical holes through them, which facilitate handling as well as creating a chute when walls are built up – making the installation of plumbing and electrical conduits easy. Construction progresses quickly, faster then with most other building systems. Walls can be built from foundation to roof height within a day.
As a result of the specially formulated resin mix, less cement is required in i-brick production than in other cement stabilised soil bricks and very little cement is needed in the building process. Consequently, a saving of about 20% is achieved compared to traditional brick and mortar construction.
Patented IBT ring beam reinforcing provides for added quality and strength at corners in construction and the patented roof beam tie-down system ensures that roofs are secure.
iKhaya Brick Technologies has worked closely with the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research www.csir.co.za to develop its soil brick building system and the system has been well received by departments of housing across South Africa as well as in neighbouring states and other countries on the continent.
iKhaya Brick Technologies
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