The fast growth in demand for housing due to the increasing human population has brought about continuous innovation. These innovations are transforming the systems of housing and breaking obstacles to efficient real estate delivery. The advent of this method of building – DRY construction is a product of tenacious tendency of creating cost-efficient construction for the growing demand.
Dry construction is a method of interior construction that uses industrially prefabricated construction systems. Lining board and load-bearing are the two basic elements of dry construction. Wet construction is the traditional use of concrete and bricks in construction, dry construction use plywood and gypsum board instead of concrete and bricks. These materials used in dry construction offers moisture resistance, hence the name, dry construction. The growth of this system in developed countries is driven by urbanization, rapid industrialization and the swift adoption of sustainable construction practice.
This system is applicable in the construction of residential, non-residential and commercial buildings. The material segment used in dry construction are plastics, plaster wood, carpet, metals, glass and wood which comes in boarding and supporting frameworks. They are used in partitions, walls, flooring, door systems, ceilings and windows. These materials offer fire safety, thermal and sound insulation. They are ready made materials that are easily installed on the field. Though, this does not eliminate the erection of foundation.
The following are the advantages of dry construction:
Construction time: The time taken for installation of dry construction materials is shorter; installation period takes one third of time used in wet construction. If a building takes six months to be constructed using concrete and brick, the same building will only take two months using dry construction method.
Labor intensiveness: The man-power used in dry construction is less. Wet construction requires more specialist and technicians, unlike dry construction that involves fewer man-power for installation. Installation is done easily with lesser technical demand.
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Safety: Buildings are prone to disasters like flood and fire outbreak. Materials used in dry construction are resistant to fire and water, especially metallic materials. They have thermal and sound insulation which are advantages.
Quality: The quality of construction in wet construction method is dependent on the skill of the project team. Wet construction is prone to errors which sometimes results to re-work and rectifications. However, the case is different in dry construction as components are factory-fabricated. Better quality is guaranteed as it is less dependent on skill of workers.
Sustainability: Waste is unavoidable in construction, either in the process or demolition. However, the reusability of the waste determines the sustainability of the process. Most wastes generated in the process of wet construction cannot be reused or recycled. Contrarily, most of the waste materials resulting from dry construction is reusable.
Density: The ratio of weight to volume/space is density. The density ratio in wet construction is very high in comparison with dry construction. The dead load of buildings constructed with concrete and bricks are heavier than buildings with dry materials.
The delimiting factor of dry construction is cost; there is an increase in overall construction cost by 2-3% compared to concrete-based construction (wet construction). Perception and level of development has caused a stunted growth to the embrace of dry construction in Nigeria. It is believed with time, dry construction method will be prevalent in Nigeria.