Application of Load Bearing Brick Wall for Low Rise Condominium Projects in Ethiopia and Assessment of Locally Produced Bricks

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Addis Ababa University


Bricks are one of the oldest building materials in construction. Application of bricks in construction of Ethiopia is not new. They are used for construction of internal and external walls in all over the country. Once more brick is commonly used building material; however, there is a tendency to use brick masonry more as cladding and in-fill material rather than as a structural material. In order to solve the housing problem in Ethiopia, saving-house condominium projects, realestates, and private residential buildings have been constructed in many regions of Ethiopia for the past decades, there is also a bigger plan set by the government for the next GTP. From the past experience of building projects, wastage of materials, unsafe construction process, poor quality of output, high time and cost overrun, and risk of failure due to structural errors and mistakes made during construction process have been observed. The objective of this study is to assess locally produced bricks quality and availability to recommend a load bearing brick wall construction for low rise residential building and compare the cost with concrete frame structure building of the same plan, form and story. Over centuries, the utilization of bricks in construction has evolved significantly. In developed nations, bricks have emerged as the primary load-bearing system for various types of buildings, spanning from modest single-story residences to relatively tall commercial and industrial structures. Extensive analysis conducted on developed countries showcases the cost-related benefits of employing bricks. Additionally, brick walls exhibit excellent thermal insulating properties, leading to reduced fuel consumption and manufacturing energy expenditure. The analysis establishes that a three-story load bearing building can be built from locally produced fired clay bricks. There is also overall saving in both materials and cost when using load bearing structure instead of reinforced concrete of the same selected apartment building. The encouragement of the load bearing structure will result in the establishing number of modern factories for brick and clay product in Ethiopia.