Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong though common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts. (Proverb)
Today we highlight the top construction trends for 2013. We also go a step further to examine the potential threats that are anticipated in Kenya.
For construction, some of the top trends are:
- Create large space by removing walls and eliminating obstructions
- Construct buildings that can be easily converted to commercial office space or residential homes. For example, when building a residential home, make sure the wall elements are non-structural to enable future demolitions. The same applies to other elements such as windows.
- Move to hardwood and/or bamboo floors instead of traditional carpet flooring. They are sustainable, affordable and easy to maintain.
- Transform areas into multi-function areas, for example open plan kitchen tops can be converted into dining/bar areas
- Use deeper sinks instead of double bowl sinks
- Add living spaces to accommodate elderly family that are not able to afford a single unit
- Install solar tiles or energy generating thin glas
- Use sustainable concrete
- Apply paper-based insulation
- Install super-efficient triple glazed windows
Location, Location, Location….
In terms of location for development, these are our top locations:
- Thika road and surrounding areas
- Ruai and Utawala areas
- Naivasha and Nakuru (For secure neighborhoods)
- Mlolongo/Syokimau area
Threats to Future Performance
Potential hazards in 2013 lie on various factors. These factors are socio-economic and political/Legal ones.
The socio-economic threats are various and are both local and international economic conditions. These may affect the interest rates and therefore the cost of construction among other factors. The political threats are largely due to the upcoming general elections in Kenya which may slow down business in general. Legal matters pertain to the approval and implementation of the new Built environment regulations (2012) which may affect general construction operations.
Worth noting, many contractors have experienced positive growth in 2012. This has been boosted in part by the reduced interest rates, influx of Foreign Direct Investments and general economic stability. These conditions lead to an increase in the number of residential units under construction. The margins may begin to shrink in anticipation of the general elections (IMF report, 2012).
Anecdotal evidence suggests contractors have been passing along a larger share of materials cost increases to project owners, a symptom of economic rebound. But if backlog begins to shrink again, pricing power would be compromised as decreasingly busy contractors begin to chase work more aggressively. The reverse may also hold true for the construction sector in 2013.
We are your thoughts on this?