Monday, April 23, 2012

Low Cost Housing



Low cost housing seems to be the buzzword in today's news. The Government commits to it, companies want the contract to it, people are skeptical about it ... but whatever it is, it's in the news. So, what exactly does low cost housing entail? 

Apparently, low cost housing or LCH as it's also known, is not necessarily synonymous with low-grade products or the use of untrustworthy material. Low Cost Housing includes effective budgeting, use of local resources and improved skills and technology that eventually reduce the overall cost of construction of the project without sacrificing the eventual strength of the structure.So, essentially, LCH is about the economic management of resources, making the eventual product more affordable for all classes of society.

The cost of constructing a building can essentially be divided into two heads:
Building material cost
Labour cost 

In LCH the cost of building material is reduced because of the use of the locally available materials that are efficient and by an improved design. Labour cost can be reduced by making a disciplined schedule of work. 

Other methods that are used to reduce costs are
1) By reducing plinth area by using the thinner wall concept, like a15 cms thick solid concrete block wall.

2) Use of locally available material in an innovative form like soil cement blocks in place of burnt brick.

3) Use of energy efficiency materials

4) Use environmentally friendly materials which are substitute for conventional building components, like, R.C.C. Door and window frames in place of wooden frames.

5) Every component of a house is pre-planned and the design procedure rationalised with a view to reduce the size of the component in the building. This also curtails the wastage of materials.

6) The re-creation of the same design also goes a long way in bringing down costs.

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