Investigating the Use of Local Materials for Building Construction



There are lots of building materials that can be sourced locally for construction purpose. Material is a major component of construction cost and a reduction in the cost of material can also result to reduction in over all construction cost. One major way to bring down the cost of materials for affordable housing is a shift toward the usage of local materials. This study therefore investigates the usage of local materials in building projects. The objectives are to find out the sort of local materials used in building construction, the factors that affect their usage, benefits of local materials and ways of improving their qualities. The study utilized a literature and field survey research design. The population of the study is the construction professionals that are involved in the usage of local materials. Purposive sampling technique was used to select a sample of 46 from the frame. Frequency, mean and percentage were used to analyze the data. The study reveals 21 local materials in Nigeria but most of the materials are either “rarely used” or “seldom used” with the exception of just eight of them that are “often used”. The literature survey also reveals that local materials are used in Europe and in seismic-prone regions. Durability and cost of production contribute most among 14 factors that contribute to the usage of local materials while air quality properties have least contribution. Provision of affordable housing and reduced construction cost stand top among the nine benefits of local materials highlighted in this study. The study recommends that practitioners and stakeholders should extend their use to all these abundant materials to provide affordable houses. Producers of local materials should also take cognizance of the factors that contribute to the usage of local materials and ensure that they are incorporated in the materials to enhance their usage. The study will contribute significantly to the usage of local materials and improvement of their qualities.

Keywords: Benefits, housing, local materials, qualities.

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