Interlocking Bricks: The Sustainable and Budget-Friendly Building Choice
Interlocking bricks are becoming increasingly popular in construction. They offer a sustainable and affordable option compared to traditional bricks. Interlocking bricks come in various materials, sizes, and designs, with prices starting at UGX 2,000 each and going up based on factors like strength, application, and brand.
One key advantage of interlocking bricks is their ability to withstand earthquakes. Traditional bricks rely on mortar for support and often fail to evenly distribute seismic loads. In contrast, interlocking bricks have a self-locking pattern that spreads seismic forces uniformly throughout the structure, making them more earthquake-resistant.
Another significant benefit is that interlocking bricks eliminate the need for plastering. This not only saves time and money compared to conventional wall construction but also results in a smooth finish. A simple coat of paint can provide a polished appearance, reducing maintenance costs. Additionally, plumbing and pipe installation become easier due to the absence of the need to chisel pipe conduits.
Interlocking bricks have lower density, allowing for better air circulation and cooler interiors compared to traditional densely packed bricks. This design reduces the reliance on air-conditioning systems, leading to energy savings.
Furthermore, the construction process using interlocking bricks is more accessible for unskilled laborers. Unlike traditional bricks that require skilled labor for precise measurements and leveling, interlocking bricks offer a simpler construction method, reducing labor costs and making them an attractive choice for entrepreneurs.
Architect Muhamad Nsereko emphasizes the significant reduction in overall construction costs when using interlocking bricks. Eliminating the need for plasterwork results in substantial savings on cement, sand, stone dust, and mortar expenses. While the initial cost of interlocking blocks may be higher, the construction expenses are three times lower compared to clay bricks due to lower cement costs and reduced labor fees.
However, there are varying opinions within the industry. Abby Jingo, an engineer with Interlocking Soil Cement Blocks Uganda, argues that building with concrete interlocking blocks can be expensive compared to using interlocking soil cement blocks. Joseph Ssekajugo, a concrete block manufacturer, points out that a 9x9 concrete block is cheaper than one interlocking block, despite the latter's smaller size and coverage area, highlighting the pricing challenge facing interlocking blocks in the construction market.