The house Julie built

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MASERU — A local construction company will today present its proposals to build houses in Lesotho without the use of bricks at a function at Lesotho Sun.

Puseletso Mathews, the chief executive officer at Julie’s Construction Company, told the Lesotho Times this week that the robust structure method is the ultimate solution to cutting ever-increasing building costs.

“The robust structure is more affordable. It is also faster and easier to build a house with this system. It is versatile so you can build a house of any size, shape and design,” Mathews said.

She said the walls of the robust building system are built using expanded metal panels.

A robust mortar machine is used to apply mortar to both sides of the metal panels to the core structure of the wall.

“The mortar is especially mixed so that the walls do not crack as years pass by. We have seen houses being built using expensive material only to need maintenance soon after because of cracks.

“The system is strong and can withstand harsh weather. Its single diaphragm walling system makes it resistant against structural cracks and forces of nature such as earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes,” Mathews said.

“In cases of landslides, the walls will not break and fall. The whole structure will remain together and rather move with the slide.”

She added that the robust structure wall is far superior to conventional walling systems such as brick and block structures as it is impossible to break in through the wall.

“It is a maintenance-free house because the walls are resistant to structural cracks,” she said.

Customers can also save on costs as the system can be put up quickly.

Robust is a compact system and this helps reduce transport costs dramatically, Mathews added.

It would take about 287 hours to build to complete a 40m2 wall under the building system, while it takes 1 070 hours to build a house of the same size using bricks.

All the hours include the fitting of plumbing and water pipes, electrical conduits and plug boxes, window and door frames and the fitment of roof trusses.

“A wall built with robust will take 43 percent less hours than one with bricks and provides a saving of 73 percent in man-hours,” the company says.

It adds that performance assessments have evaluated that robust building is more durable than the conventional brick structures.

The structure also applies better waterproof sealer to external walls than the bricks and was found to be resistant to water penetration and rising damp.

Robust building systems have already been used in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and other African countries and the United States.

It has been accredited by the South Africa Bureau of Standards (SABS) and the Miami Building Code, that has one of the most stringent building regulations in the world.

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